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JudithDCollinsMustReads

An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of  400-500 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger.  Enjoy ARCs and new releases. 

 

 

 

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Amy Hatvany
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Colleen Oakley
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Kristy Woodson Harvey

Two Days Gone

Two Days Gone: A Novel - Randall Silvis

By: Randall Silvis

A Ryan DeMarco Mystery

ISBN: 9781492639732

Publisher:   SOURCEBOOKS Landmark

Publication Date: 1/10/2017

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars +

 

Author Spotlight Join Me, Blog Tour Jan 15 Giveaways, Excerpt, Author Interviews + More

Readers who take their novels strong and dark will savor Randall Silvia’s skillfully-written latest literary thriller-contemporary crime noir: TWO DAYS GONE with the introduction of his new series and intriguing character (Ryan DeMarco Mystery).

The best part is the connection and relationship between writer and reader. The Author’s Acknowledgement "Writer/Reader relationship" earns a 5 Star +. An added bonus following the book. For every author and reader.

If you’re seduced by the darker, deeper, grittier side of literature, with vivid descriptions, you will be drawn to the grisly, moody, atmospheric, graphic, disturbing, and unsettling tale, with a clever thought-provoking literary twist. A book within a book. Not for the faint hearted.

A bold powerhouse novel and author. The cover, copy and book description: A "bullseye." Right On. Gripping, taut, sensitive, and astute. Even the inner musings of the characters have a poetic power. A haunting character-driven study of two deeply flawed and troubled men protagonists (alternating narratives). Both solitary men in their own way.

DeMarco lived alone and of course Huston did not. Both had complicated relationships with others. DeMarco had no center. He ventured out to relationships from emptiness and to emptiness he returned. One case of tragedy after another, puzzle after morbid puzzle to solve. What if he had made better choices twelve years ago on that rainy night?

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco of the Pennsylvania State Police has seen his share of despair, violence, and malicious acts. From college students to strip clubs, the woods, the streets- there lies a murderer. Hiding. A man, gone mad in the blink of an eye. A man turned into a beast.

A murderer is in their midst. A community. One of their own. Someone they all trusted. a bestselling author. The education of sons and daughters. They had seen his smiling face in local bookstores and watched him with Katie on Good Morning America.

Claire Huston, one of the prettiest women in town is dead with a slash across her throat. Thomas, Jr, twelve, a sixth grader also dead, same way. Sister, Alyssa, fourth grade, also murdered. Little David Ryan Huston, asleep on his back in his crib. A blade thrust in his heart. A second one. A chef’s knife.

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone. Snap your fingers five times, that’s how long it took. Five steel-edged scrapes across the tender flesh of night. Why was the baby killed differently than the others in the family? Stabbed in the heart twice.

The bodies of the Huston family had been discovered. From family, neighbors, and friends. All stunned and grief-stricken. All eyes turned toward the husband, the father, the accomplished writer, the professor. He had fled.

DeMarco had met Thomas Huston previously. He had read all his books. A reader. He was a friend. He reminded him of a young Jack Kerouac. Thomas Huston was a professor. A writer. He loved his students. He was working on a new book. A trooper was one of the main characters. They had met on several occasions and connected on several levels.

There was Huston’s tragic past. The bungled robbery of the family hardware store. The blast that tore out his mother’s throat. His father’s suicide two weeks later from an overdose. The horrific images still haunted Thomas. The memories overwhelmed him. Now, his own family. Was he the murderer? Or someone else?

DeMarco had his own demons. A ruined marriage, his son’s death, his anger, his aggressive behavior, and the subsequent demotion. His drinking. The accident that took his son’s life. He and Huston had connected.

How could this man have killed his entire family? He loved them. He was a good and decent man. He spoke so fondly of them. He was not a violent man. Did something set him off? Now Huston was out there. He had fled. Maybe he is amnesic?

Ryan begins researching Thomas Huston and his parents, his books, his reviews, articles and his latest novel, The Desperate Summer. A book released three and half years after his parent’s death. Other profiles from Poets and Writers. Interviews. Characters.

It was clear that Thomas Huston, like his character, suffered some very dark moments. But dark enough to cause him to slaughter his own family? The rage and grief. What would have gone through his mind for him to do this to his family?

Huston was a writer, teacher, and student. It was his job to make order out of disorder. To find the meaning in metaphor.

DeMarco is on the hunt, digging for each piece of evidence. The woods, his students, and strip clubs (Whispers). Strippers, hookers, an abortion, dancers, bouncers. Research for his books. Did he have enemies? Were all the associations for his book, or personal?

Was Hutson’s life idyllic as it had seemed? He was the primary suspect and DeMarco took no pleasure in that discovery. Marco could drink himself into a stupor, but he needed a clear head. He had to figure out who murdered this family. He liked this man. He owes him to find out what happened. He goes back and forth with his suspicions.

The more he learns, he wonders if the writer had become the characters in his book? Had the murder and suicide of Huston’s parents loosened something in him or spawned a rage he struggled with, and finally lost?

Who was Annabel? Bonnie? Tex? Were these relationships an integral part of the slaughter at the Huston home? After the murder, Huston had been spotted wandering through the dawn in a daze. Where else would he go? Could he have been cheating on his wife?

DeMarco had to find him. As he digs deeper, with the homicide investigation, time is of the essence. Four people are dead and three of them are children. If Thomas is running because he is innocent, who is the guilty party? DeMarco wanted Hutson to be better than this. Someone he could admire. Had the equation changed? Was it infidelity, madness, lust, weakness? He had to know!

Who could Thomas trust? Who can he turn to for help?

Complex characters. It’s the contradictions in a personality that make for conflict. Did he take the qualities for each of these women to build his characters or was it something else?

In the meantime, we hear from Thomas hiding out. Like some character out of a Flannery O’Conner story. Hiding in a shed. A misfit. Hunted. Hates. Will his life ever get better? The events leading up to the murder. The book is in his head. Is this all a dream? The lines are blurred.

 



From literary references to Poe, Hemingway, Steinback, Faulkner, MacBeth, Wolfe, O'Connor, Nabokov and Poe’s Annabels, Poe’s poetry. A trinity of troubled men. A kinship. Misery. What parts are made up and what is real?

“To the casual observer, Huston’s life would have appeared blessed. But this was the illusion Huston had created and maintained. A man patient and generous with his students, a picture-perfect wife and family, shirts and chinos always neatly pressed, fame and financial success; a man respected envied; a man with a life each of his students longed for.

Was it all a construction meant to conceal in himself the same dark urges that drove Huston’s characters? His life had seemed a sunlit lagoon, but what currents made the blue water shimmer. A lifetime of struggle and ambition. Parents, taken away by violence. Professional jealousies. The stresses of fame the loss of anonymity. The pressure to live up to the hype, to always be better, brighter, more successful, more worthy of praise.

Was it as simple as that? The façade as thin and brittle as all facades are, shattered? Had Huston snapped? Was he deliriously happy in his insanity? Weightless and free? No shame, no remorse, no obligations, no sin?"



Does the life of novelists show up in fiction, thinly disguised as somebody else’s life? Portions of the journal were totally fiction; others not? Discerning the difference would be the hard part. Were the character’s desires actually Huston’s desires brought to the surface?

Did Thomas dream of these events, or did they actually occur? The knife. How could he go home? All is gone.

Entries:

“If a book is filled with love, it is because the writer longs for love? If the book drips of violence, it is because the writer burns to levy justice, to decimate his enemies? A means of survival. Otherwise, his psyche would unravel. Pitiful or disastrous.

Does a guilty man hide his deeds behind his words and hide his thoughts behind his smile? Others behind other deeds? Doesn’t the pedophile hide behind the Little League team he coaches or the school bus he drives or the Masses he conducts?

And doesn’t the wife beater hide behind the sidewalks he cleans for the old lady next door, and behind his punctuality and efficiency at work? The pornographer, the rapist, the serial killer; .the predatory stock broker, the ambulance chasers, the Medicare-bilking physician—the congressman, the senator, the president—don’t they all cloak their evil behind silk ties and thousand-dollar suits?



The man and woman he is referring to? DeMarco wonders as he is reading-desperate to solve this puzzle. Huston had reached out to him. Will he be so desperate to commit suicide or seek revenge, if, in fact, he was not the killer? He may have nothing to lose.

Between pressure at the station to find Huston and his need to help this man, the author keeps the suspense high, while readers slowly learn what went down that fatal tragic horrific night. His family had been butchered.

Did helping someone with a simple choice in life - set the stage; putting things in motion, for a string of deadly events to unfold, with devastating consequences?

TWO DAYS GONE is like no other book I have ever read and surely it will be at the top of the bestseller list. Silvis grabs you from the first page to the last, with the introduction of this new series, and anxiously awaiting the next!

Ferocious storytelling that makes you think, and feel with an array of emotions. From the dark and ugly pit of the human psyche. Sadness, pain, suffering, tragedy, love, and loss, sprinkled with a heavy literary flair. The relationship and narrative between the two men sealed the book. Both equally strong and powerful. The relationship between writer and reader, priceless.

Other readers have asked me about a similar author or book to compare. I can honestly say, this work is unique. In regards to the crime thriller genre, the one which comes to mind is possibly Paul Cleave (New Zealand), Of course, his Trust No One is a book within a book, as well. Cleave's crime writing is also gritty and dark, with twisted humor, and his cop leads, tend to become emotionally connected. Fans of David Bell and Dennis Lehane will also enjoy. With Silvis, you receive the crime + the literary fiction in one package, a rare find.

"The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past." -William Faulkner

This one will stay with you. Chilling. A murder mystery, both absorbing and entertaining, from an experienced author drawing from his own experience as a writer and academic.

 



Connecting with readers and writers: My favorite part: (Acknowledgements) this is only a small portion:

“A writer’s job is to love his readers and to want nothing more than to pilot them from experience to experience, emotion to emotion. The best fiction is a voyage of feeling, and the writer’s job is to generate sentipensante for his readers, those feelings that give rise, not to an intellectual kind of knowledge but an emotional knowledge, a deeper connection with what Faulkner called “the old verities and truths of the heart.” (love William Faulkner: Nobel Prize Speech Stockholm, Sweden 12/10/50).

“Another way of looking at this relationship between writer and readers is through its intimacy; the reader comes, to a story wanting to be wooed, desirous of seduction. If the writer’s inducements are successful, the voice sufficiently tempting, the promises sufficiently alluring, the reader gives herself over to the story not for minutes but hours, and for days at a time, melding her own imagination with the writer’s while falling into step with the characters, hoping for the best, giving them her heart. What greater gift can a writer receive than this?



A special thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Also purchased the audiobook, performed by Graham Winton; currently listening. (great)

"Next time someone asks you how you’re feeling, dig a little deeper, find that emotion, that story behind it."

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

A January Indie Next Great Read

 

“…a suspenseful, literary thriller that will resonate with readers long after the book is finished. A terrific choice for Dennis Lehane fans.”—Library Journal, STARRED review

 

“Beneath the momentum of the investigation lies a pervasive sadness that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“…skillfully written thriller.”—Publishers Weekly

 

“…impressive novel…an intriguing thriller.”—Booklist

 

“…this novel [will] linger in readers’ minds well after Two Days Gone.”—Shelf Awareness

 

“Two Days Gone is a quiet, intense, suspenseful mystery about a man who has lost everything. Rich with descriptions and atmosphere….Two Days Gone is relentless in its suspense, and the final twists in the novel are sure to not disappoint.”— Foreword Review 

 

 

"An absolute gem of literary suspense, pitting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and told in a smooth, assured, and often haunting voice, Two Days Gone is a terrific read." - Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead

 

 

“Randall Silvis' Two Days Gone is a smart, twisting, vividly written thriller anchored by two deeply flawed yet fascinating protagonists. Yes, the novel provides cat-and-mouse suspense as a horrific murder in a college town is investigated, but it's also a deeply rewarding story about friendship, family, fame, and the complicated relationship between readers and writers. Anyone who wants to dismiss thrillers as mere genre fluff should read Two Days Gone.” - David Bell, author of Since She Went Away

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

 

 

 

About The Author

photo: Maddison Hodg  

 

Novelist, playwright, screenwriter and essayist..

 

Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels, one story collection, and one book of narrative nonfiction. His essays, articles, poems, and short stories have appeared in various online and print magazines. His work has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Pennsylvania.Read More 
Twitter 

 

Praised by the New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist as “a masterful storyteller,”

 

Silvis is the author of fourteen critically acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction. He is also a prize-winning playwright, a produced screenwriter, a prolific essayist, and an occasional poet. As a multi-genre author, his books have appeared on Best of the Year lists from The New York Times, the Toronto Globe & Mail, SfSite.com, and the International Association of Crime Writers. He also co-hosts the popular bi-weekly podcast, The Writers Hangout, at www.thewritershangout.com. 

 

 

"Two Days Gone" Latest Book from Clarion County Native Gains
National Praise    Read More 
Sunday, December 18, 2016 @ 12:12 AM
Posted by Ron Wilshire

 

Randall Silvis: Life Is Research

Q & A with Randall Silvis   Read More 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/07/01/Two-Days-Gone

20 + Must Read Books Coming January 2017

Reblogged from JudithDCollinsMustReads:

Start the New Year 2017,
with a Great Book!

 

20 Books to Add to Your Reading List and Pre-Order
Coming January!

 

 

 

 

 


SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE 

Nancy Star

Lake Union

Jan 1


After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

 

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.

 

Buy the Book 

 

EVERYTHING  YOU WANT TO BE

Mindy Mejia

Atria

Jan 3 

 

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront...and she inches closer and closer to her death.

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie’s acting talents ran far beyond the stage.

 

Told from three points of view—Del, Hattie, and the new English teacher whose marriage is crumbling—Everything You Want Me to Be weaves the story of Hattie’s last school year and the events that drew her ever closer to her death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

 

Buy the Book

THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY

Karen White 

Tradd Street #5

Berkley

Jan 10

 

New York Times bestselling author Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by, and restless spirits refuse to fade away...

With her extended maternity leave at it’s end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for over a year are about to invade her life once more. 
 
But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell it as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission. 
 
Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to appear to her again. One is shrouded from sight, appearing whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in her backyard on Tradd Street. 
 
Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried...

 

Buy the Book  


BEYOND THE CAROUSEL 

Bette Lee Crosby 

Wyattsville #5

Bent Pine

Jan 10 

 

A FAMILY TRAGEDY, A 25 YEAR OLD MURDER, AND A DETECTIVE DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT...

Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left. 

 

In the months following the stock market crash, Franklin Wilkes is killed; gunned down in senseless act of vengeance. The police know who did it, but the man has disappeared. It’s the height of the depression and there are hoards of nameless, faceless men living in freight train yards and back alleys. The murderer is never caught, but Laura and Emory, her father, never give up hope of finding him.


Now, twenty-five years later, Laura’s daughter has fallen in love with Jack Mahoney a policeman working crowd control with the strikers at the Telephone Company. 

 

Right now Mahoney is a rookie, he has little or no power, but Emory is hopeful he is the one person who can ultimately find Franklin’s killer and deliver the justice the family has long awaited.

 

Readers of the other Wyattsville books will welcome the chance to get to know the kind-hearted Spare Change detective as a young man about to fall in love. 

 

Buy the Book 

 THE SLEEPWALKER 
 Chris Bohjalian 

 Doubleday

Jan 10

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire—the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. 

When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee's disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee's husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective.

 

And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs' Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee's disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body? 


Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.

 

Buy the Book 
 

TWO DAYS GONE

Randall Silvis

Sourcebooks Landmark

Jan 10

**Blog Tour Author Spotlight Jan 15**

 

A literary page-turner about a beloved college professor accused of murdering his entire family, and one small-town cop’s dangerous search for answers

Thomas Huston, a beloved professor and bestselling author, is something of a local hero in the small Pennsylvania college town where he lives and teaches. So when Huston’s wife and children are found brutally murdered in their home, the community reacts with shock and anger. Huston has also mysteriously disappeared, and suddenly, the town celebrity is suspect number one.

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco has secrets of his own, but he can’t believe that a man he admired, a man he had considered a friend, could be capable of such a crime. Hoping to glean clues about Huston’s mind-set, DeMarco delves into the professor’s notes on his novel-in-progress. Soon, DeMarco doesn’t know who to trust—and the more he uncovers about Huston’s secret life, the more treacherous his search becomes.

 

Buy the Book

HER EVERY FEAR  

Peter Swanson

William Morrow

Jan 10 

 

The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

 

But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own?curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

 

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidently learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself? So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met? 

 

Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real. 

And much, much closer than she thinks.

 

Told from multiple points of view, Her Every Fear is a scintillating, edgy novel rich with Peter Swanson’s chilling insight into the darkest corners of the human psyche and virtuosic skill for plotting that has propelled him to the highest ranks of suspense, in the tradition of such greats as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, Patricia Highsmith and James M. Cain.

 

Buy the Book

 

 THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY 

Susan Rivers 

Algonquin Books

Jan 10 

 

When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband's three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away? To what extremes can war and violence push a woman who is left to fend for herself?

Told through letters, court inquests, and journal entries, this saga, inspired by a true incident, unfolds with gripping intensity, conjuring the era with uncanny immediacy. Amid the desperation of wartime, Placidia sees the social order of her Southern homeland unravel. As she comes to understand how her own history is linked to one runaway slave, her perspective on race and family are upended. A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war, The Second Mrs. Hockaday reveals how this generation—and the next—began to see their world anew.

This is one of those books that progresses so seamlessly that you marvel at the authenticity of it. In fact, Susan Rivers has said that the novel was inspired by her discovery of a mysterious crime in South Carolina during the Civil War, and she wrote her novel to make sense of it; once she started writing, the story poured out through these myriad voices. But because Rivers is also a meticulous researcher, every part of the story has some basis in fact. As in Hillary Jordan's Mudbound, you will feel that you're in the hands of a natural storyteller who knows how to breathe life into this period of history, the young Placidia, and all of the people around her. This is a remarkable, moving, and unforgettable debut.

 

A special thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

 

Buy the Book 

CLASS 

Lucinda Rosenfeld 

Little Brown & Co.

Jan 10

 

A satirical novel about a mother whose life spirals out of control when she's forced to rethink her bleeding heart liberal ideals.

For idealistic forty-something Karen Kipple, it isn't enough that she works full-time in the non-profit sector, aiding an organization that helps hungry children from disadvantaged homes. She's also determined to live her personal life in accordance with her ideals. This means sending her daughter, Ruby, to an integrated public school in their Brooklyn neighborhood.

 

But when a troubled student from a nearby housing project begins bullying children in Ruby's class, the distant social and economic issues Karen has always claimed to care about so passionately feel uncomfortably close to home. As the situation at school escalates, Karen can't help but wonder whether her do-gooder husband takes himself and his causes more seriously than her work and Ruby's wellbeing.

 

A daring, discussable satire about gentrification and liberal hypocrisy, and a candid take on rich and poor, white and black, CLASS is also a smartly written story that reveals how life as we live it--not as we like to imagine it--often unfolds in gray areas,

 

Buy the Book

THE NOWHERE MAN 

An Orphan X Novel  #2

By:  Gregg Hurwitz

St. Martin's Press

Jan 17 

 

Spoken about only in whispers, the Nowhere Man can only be reached by the truly desperate, he can —He will do anything to save them.

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.

 

But his new life is interrupted when a surprise attack comes from an unlikely angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, he finds himself heavily guarded and cut off from everything he knows. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with—or that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on earth.

 

Continuing his electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak, Gregg Hurwitz delivers a blistering, compelling new novel in the series launched with the instant international bestseller, Orphan X.

 

Buy the Book

THE WICKED CITY 

 Beatriz Williams

William Morrow

Jan 17

 

New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family.


When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy.


In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers.


Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin’s adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.


As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too. . .

 

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THIS IS NOT OVER 

 Holly Brown 

William Morrow

Jan 17

Two women are caught in an escalating game of cat-and-mouse that leads to an explosive ending in this breathtaking psychological thriller from the author of A Necessary End and Don’t Try to Find Me

 

You’ll have your deposit within seven business days, just like it says on Getaway.com. I’ve put through a refund to your credit card for the full amount, minus $200 to replace the stained sheets...


Miranda

When 30-year-old Dawn reads Miranda’s email, she sees red. People have always told Dawn she’s beautiful, and she just hopes they don’t see beneath-to how she grew up, to what she’s always tried to outrun. She revels in her getaways with her perfect (maybe too perfect) husband, the occasional long weekend in luxurious homes, temporarily inhabiting other people’s privileged lives. Miranda’s email strikes a nerve, with its lying intimation that Dawn is so dirty you need to throw out her sheets.

 

Beware of your “host”

 

I wouldn’t have left a review at all, if I didn’t feel it was my civic duty to warn others…

 

57-year-old Miranda thought she’d seen it all, but she can’t believe her eyes when she reads Dawn’s review. She’s a doctor’s wife but she needs that rental money, desperately. People might think her life is privileged, but they don’t know what’s really going on. They don’t know about her son. She won’t take this threat to her livelihood-to her very life-lying down.

 

Two very different women with this in common: Each harbors her own secret, her own reason why she can’t just let this go. Neither can yield, not before they’ve dredged up all that’s hidden, even if it has the power to shatter all they’ve built.

 

This is not over.  This is so not over.

 

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LITTLE GIRL LOST 

Carol Wyer

DI Robyn Carter #1

Bookouture

Jan 19

 

A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer who wants the truth to be told. A little girl in terrible danger.

A teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances and a man is murdered at a local reservoir. For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link between the cases. But as she starts to delve into them, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number? 

But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer, Izzy is abducted. Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die …

 

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 FATAL

John Lescroart

Atria

Jan 24

 

From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting standalone novel about the unexpected, shattering, and lethal consequences of a one-night stand on a seemingly happily married couple.

Kate loves her life. At forty-four, she’s happily married to her kind husband, Ron, blessed with two wonderful children, and has a beautiful home in San Francisco. Everything changes, however, when she and Ron attend a dinner party and meet another couple, Peter and Jill. Kate and Peter only exchange a few pleasant words but that night, in bed with her husband, Kate is suddenly overcome with a burning desire for Peter.

What begins as an innocent crush soon develops into a dangerous obsession and Kate’s fixation on Peter results in one intense, passionate encounter between the two. Confident that her life can now go back to normal, Kate never considers that Peter may not be so willing to move on.

Not long after their affair, a masked man barges into the café Kate is sitting in with her best friend, firing an assault weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. This tragedy is the first in a series of horrifying events that will show Kate just how grave the consequences of one mistake can be.

An explosive story of infidelity, danger, and moral ambiguity, John Lescroart’s latest thriller will excite and satisfy both his current and new fans.

 

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THE GIRL BEFORE 

 JP Delaney

Random House

Jan 24

 

In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman's seemingly good fortune, and another woman's mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
 
EMMA
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.
 
JANE
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home's previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

 

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THE TRAPPED GIRL

Robert Dugoni

Tracy Crosswhite #4

Thomas & Mercer

Jan 24

 

When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

 

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.

 

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 RIGHT BEHIND YOU 

Quincy & Rainie, #7

Lisa Gardner 

Dutton

Jan 31

 

Lisa Gardner's next thriller following her runaway New York Times bestseller Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
 
Is he a killer?
 
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.  
 
All she knows for sure: He’s back.
 
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

 

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RATHER BE THE DEVIL

Ian Rankin 

Little Brown & Co.

Jan 31

 

Detective Inspector John Rebus investigates a cold case that has turned red hot once again.

John Rebus, as incapable of settling into his retirement as he is of playing by the rules, investigates a cold case from the 1970s involving a gorgeous and wealthy female socialite who was found dead in a bedroom at one of Edinburgh's most luxurious hotels. No one was ever found guilty, but the scandalous circumstances of the murder have kept the town talking for over forty years. Now, Rebus has his own reasons to investigate, but his inquiries quickly make him some very dangerous and powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to ensure that the case remains unsolved and the gossip falls on deaf ears.

 

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DROWNING TIDES

South Shores #2

MIRA

Jan 31

 

Danger is never far off…  When forensic psychologist Claire Britten started working with lawyer Nick Markwood on his South Shores project, she had no idea it would endanger her life—and the life of her daughter.

But when the little girl goes missing from her South Florida home and Nick insists his longtime nemesis is to blame, Claire frantically follows the trail to the Cayman Islands, desperate to save her daughter before it's too late. 

Nick always knew the man who staged his father's "suicide" was out to get him, but kidnapping the child of someone he cares about is despicable. Finding the billionaire criminal is one thing—meeting his demands in order to save Claire's daughter is quite another. What he wants threatens their professional and personal interests beyond imagination…but what choice do they have when a child's life is on the line?

 

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MY HUSBAND'S WIFE

  Jane Corry 

Pamela Dorman

Jan 31

 

It won’t be so bad when you’re there,” says my new husband before kiss­ing me on the mouth. He tastes of Rice Krispies and that strong toothpaste of his which I still haven’t gotten used to.

“I know,” I say before he peels off to the bus stop on the other side of the road.

Two lies. Small white ones. Designed to make the other feel better.
But that’s how some lies start. Small. Well meaning. Until they get too big to handle.


When young lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe. A convicted murderer whom Lily is strangely drawn to. For whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything. 

 

But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets are powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants.

 

When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep sixteen years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way.

 

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Non-Fiction  Christian

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE

Renew Your Mind Through the Power of God's Word

 Joyce Meyer

FaithWords

Jan 3

 

The BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE will help readers connect the truths of Joyce Meyer's all-time bestselling book, Battlefield of the Mind, to the Bible, and change their lives by changing their thinking.

Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger, and feelings of condemnation.. .all these are attacks on the mind. If you struggle with negative thoughts, take heart! The BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE will help you win these all-important battles through clear, practical application of God's Word to your life. With notes, commentary, and previously unpublished insights by Joyce Meyer, this Bible is packed with features specifically designed for helping you deal with thousands of thoughts you have every day and focus your mind to think the way God thinks. 

 

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DREAM WITH ME 
: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win  

John M. Perkins 

Baker

Jan 31 

 

According to recent surveys and studies, race relations in the United States are the worst they've been since the 1990s, and many would argue that life for most minorities has not significantly improved since the civil rights era of the 1960s.

For so many, the dream of true equality has dissolved into a reality of prejudice, fear, and violence as a way of life.John M. Perkins has been there from the beginning.

 

Raised by his sharecropping grandparents, Perkins fled Mississippi in 1947 after his brother was fatally shot by a police officer. He led voter registration efforts in 1964, worked for school desegregation in 1967, and was imprisoned and tortured in 1970. Through it all, he has remained determined to seek justice and reconciliation based in Christ's redemptive work. "Justice is something that every generation has to strive for," he says.

 

And despite the setbacks of recent years, Perkins finds hope in the young people he has met all across the nation who are hard at work, bringing about reconciliation in God's name and offering acceptance to all. Dream with Me is his look back at a life devoted to seeking justice for all God's people, as well as a look forward to what he sees as a potentially historic breakthrough for people of every race.

 

Buy the Book 

 

 

#JDCMustReadBooks 

Happy New Year!

Top Book List, Coming 2017 

By Release Month

The Best of 2016.
 Top 50 JDCMustReadBooks 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/book-blog/tag/jan-2017

Sisters One Two Three

Sisters One, Two, Three - Nancy Star

By:  Nancy Star

ISBN:  9781503937468

Publisher: Lake Union 

Publication Date:  1/1/2017

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 3 Stars

 

Nancy Star’s SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE is an intriguing and emotional mystery drama of dark family secrets.

Raising many questions, from why this family kept these secrets and struggles to when to reveal them. From memories, both true and false and versions of each – meet the Tangle family. The consequences of secrets and how they can harm.

A gripping family saga, a story of three sisters, Ginger, Mimi, and Callie. Moving back and forth in time, we are taken back to a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard.

If you ever wondered about your family secrets, you will appreciate both sides and why secrets can be toxic.

Ginger has kept a big secret from her daughter. Later, Ginger learns others have kept secrets from her. By keeping secrets are they protecting themselves or others? Desperation, fear, or love?

A brother’s accident, an event someone spent their entire adult life trying to pretend never happened.

From before and after, the author takes us from the 1970s to the present day. Secrets trickle down and harm others in many ways. Consequences.

When Glory dies, Callie returns home and piece by piece the secrets unravel. From mother, sisters, and daughters. With many parallels between the generations and the contrasts between holding on or letting go.

How do we become who we are in adulthood based on events of our past? Some are more profoundly changed than others.

From tragedy, loss, love, and family. The road to healing and forgiveness.

An ideal for book clubs and further discussions (guide included). Enjoyed the inspiration behind the book with the added conversation with the author. I always find hidden family secrets intriguing and often wonder about my own history and those of past generations.

For readers who enjoy complex family dramas and fans of Nancy Thayer and Elin Hilderbrand.

I listened to the audiobook, performed by my favorite, Cassandra Campbell 2016 Best Audio Narrator ), as well as the book review copy.

A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/12/01/Sisters-One-Two-Three

Good Behavior

Good Behavior - Blake Crouch

By: Blake Crouch 

Letty Dobesh Books #1-3

ISBN: 9781503940499

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer 

Publication Date: 11/15/2016

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 5 Stars + + +

Top Books of 2016

 

Blake Crouch returns from Wayward Pines and Dark Matter (2016) with his latest smashing hit, GOOD BEHAVIOR The book, audio, TV series- (The Letty Dobesh Chronicles): EPIC! Brilliantly crafted.

Extraordinary from book, audio, to TV on-screen, Landing on my Top Books of 2016, and best 2016 book to screen. The collaboration between Blake Crouch and Chad Hodge is a “match made in heaven.”

Yes, I am enjoying the ride. Please do not let it stop!

Ongoing: “I am the best me I can be!” (Letty)

In the series, Letty is fresh out of prison, (meth-addicted) when she overhears a hitman being hired to kill a man's wife. When she sets out to derail the job, she puts herself in the crosshairs of a killer, entangling them in a dangerous and seductive relationship, and so much more.

This sexy hitman man Javier may be her path and key to redemption. That is if she does not screw it up.

Javier is sensitive and caring. He has pain in his life and his past. Leading him to his path as a hitman. They have a love/hate relationship. He lives on the outskirts of society due to an event from his childhood (we discover in the TV series).

A constant pull between them as well as their own individual lives. They have a connection and this makes them want to be better. They are perfect for one another. They rescue each other and find a home in one another.

Forgive me here, since I have watched the TV series (Season one Episodes 1-9, read the book, and listened to the audio (twice). You could say, I LOVE GOOD BEHAVIOR, so using this review as a combo review of all three.

I first listened to the audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan and the author, Blake Crouch. (Exceptional).

Directly afterward, quickly immersed in Amazon Prime (TNT) TV Good Behavior. Purchased the entire season. Taking the fantastic information provided by Blake in the audiobook and applied to how the 3 novellas were transformed to on-screen.

This is a “Must” to read the book and learn all the backstory. The backstage, inside scoop of how the author created these characters, and his collaboration with Chad Hodge for the television show. Quite intriguing. (Dying for a Season 2)….please, please!

In between, while getting caught up with the TV episodes, anxiously awaiting the weekly next episode, was “granted my wish” for a digital copy of the book, Good Behavior via NetGalley. Was so excited, with “Christmas coming early”, began diving into the book, and once again, read it in one sitting. I bookmarked so many pages.

Letty Dobesh is troubled, flawed, beautiful, striking, smart, inventive, charismatic, self-destructive, a chameleon. She crosses between good and bad. A constant struggle. She is authentic. Real. Even though in (Episode 9) not happy with her attitude and kicking Javier to the curb with her betrayal. (Let’s hope she can turn her mistakes around once again). I was dying with this one. Javier is good for her.

Don't score. Don't kill.

We follow Letty on a journey as she attempts to discover who she really is, and wants more than anything to make peace with that woman, even if she does not fit “inside the box” society has drawn for her. She wants to be a good mother, a daughter, and a friend; to make up for her past mistakes and misdeeds. Every time she tries, she gets knocked down.

Crouch is pitch perfect with his character development of both Letty and Javier. I like the transition from the book to the screen.

The book:
• The Pain of Others
• Sunset Key
• Grab

After each of these novellas the author adds some insightful commentary about the work, the show, images, and other additional content from the journey, he has taken with Letty. No, I would not dare skip over these parts. I love it!

With the book, it is like a backstage pass, with a peak at the inside operations. The reader becomes invested in the characters, the story, and a fan for life. Letty is flawed, irresistible, broken, lovely and brave. She wants desperately to get her son back. She keeps running into obstacles and pulled in by her addictions to stealing and the high. She is so good at being bad!

I wanted to hold off writing my review until the last TV episode Season One; however, being it was on my Top Books for 2016 List my fellow GRs friends wanted to know my thoughts. Yes, I loved it!

Letty Raines is a thief and con artist whose life is always one wrong turn, one bad decision, from implosion. Michelle Dockery is amazing. Juan Diego Botto (Javier) is sexy and to die for; each episode, I love him even more. Currently I am in HIS corner.

Christian, Jacob, Estelle ( a piece of work), Rob and the other supporting characters only add to the intense drama. What a riot! In the meantime, I am now just finishing the 9th episode, and let me say, starting at episode 5, I fell totally in LOVE. A turning point, from five on.

Letty and Javier are intimately connected on so many levels, and ultimately become each other’s saviors. Both emotionally-- two souls which are perfect for one another.

At the opening of the 5th episode, when Letty opens with, “you came.” Javier replies, “you called.”

OMG, that look between the two of them, was the best since Jerry McGuire’s "You had me at 'hello," and Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook, "I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you every day for a year. It wasn't over… it still isn't over."

A modern SEXY twist of The Notebook and Bonnie and Clyde. Letty can rock a wig. I think she needs to have her own line. I would definitely buy one.

Season One: (TV)
• So You’re Not an English Teacher (Good opening-Statesville, NC caption) even though filmed in Wilmington; Letty is rocking the red bob wig—love the Grove Park Inn) book mention, even though not filmed here. She has the southern accent down as well as the blonde bangs.
• Only the Best for Mrs. Diaz
• From Terrible Me
• Your Mama Had a Hard Night (Letty-Sad but moving)
• Beautiful Things Deserve Beautiful Things (Hilarious!)** My favorite. Loved the short blonde wig and the St. John’s knit ensemble—Classy!
• We Pretend We’re Stuck (Loved the tie in with Jacob)- Emotional
• The Ballad of Little Santino (Javier-Sad but moving) Fantastic look at his character’s past.
• It Still Fits Bitch – A fun episode featuring Letty’s mom and Jacob. Tables are turned.
• For You, I’d Go with Strawberry – Did not like the turn this one took. Please get Letty back on track with Javier. Bad, bad girl. Sure, there is a plan here.

Waiting anxiously for the next episode . . .. in suspense.

Letty and Javier: Sexy, dangerous, thrilling, and flawed. With their tough exterior, we see their hearts, their desires, and love of family. The pull- of right and wrong. A fitting title for a struggle between right and wrong. Good and evil. From danger, intrigue, style, humor, emotion, heart, sex appeal, well-developed characters and an edge of your seat plot. All the ingredients for a HIT! Superb acting and pitch-perfect writing.

OK, Crouch fans and everyone else, BUY—the book, GOOD BEHAVIOR and watch the series! A show stopper. Hats off - A job well-done. Hopefully, we will see Season Two. I am hooked! Fingers crossed. 5 Stars +

Now that I have sold you on the book, and the author, I want to add a side personal note: I am a native of Statesville, NC, as is the author, Blake Crouch.  Read More on my Blog @  JDCMustReadBooks

A very special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for granting my wish with a review copy.

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/26/Good-Behavior

Everything You Want Me To Be

Everything You Want Me to Be - Mindy Mejia

By:  Mindy Mejia

ISBN: 9781501123429

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date:1/3/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 4 Stars

 

Mindy Mejia’s EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO leads us to deadly dark secrets and lies of a small rural town. The good daughter, turns up murdered, leaving the town in shock. Haunting, twisty, and psychologically rich the author will keep you guessing until the end.

Hattie Hoffman is living in a small rural town in Minnesota. She attends a small high school, Pine Valley. Like most teens with ambition and dreams, they cannot wait to escape the small- town community for the big city.

In this case, Hattie has set her mind on New York City, for an acting career on Broadway. If she needs to use a few people along the way, she will manipulate to her advantage. She has played lots of parts, in her life trying to be what everyone wants her to be.

Told from three POVs, we hear from Del, Hattie, and Peter. A young girl’s dreams, loves, desires, and ambitions. Her secrets. Her last year of high school, which is to be special, turns into a deadly nightmare.

Peter Lund, her English teacher, is a bad marriage. His wife is not the nicest woman and too focused on other things to satisfy her hubby. Of course, an affair begins between Hattie and Peter. The two keep their secrets, and throw everyone off course, while Hattie begins dating the high school jock, Tommy.

However, she never truly warms up to Tommy (if you know what I mean), because she has her sights set on bigger things and getting action elsewhere. Hattie was going places and Tommy was not. We also are introduced to parents Bud and Mona and fishing buddy, Sherriff, Del.

As the book opens, Hattie is planning her escape. The play was finished and she has her bags packed. She has written her note and planned her meet up at the barn. On the night she plans her getaway, she has all her cards lined up perfectly. However, her well-laid plans do not go as intended.

She is stabbed to death in the Erickson barn. Brutally murdered. She also had sex before the murder, not rape. The town is shocked. Del, the family friend is leading the murder investigation and the suspicions point to Tommy and Peter. However, could it be someone else? What about Peter’s wife, or someone else? The parents are devastated. Did they really know their daughter?

Hattie had spent her entire life playing parts, being whatever “they” wanted her to be, focused on everyone around her while inside she felt like she was sitting in the exact same spot. She was her parent’s only daughter. Who could have murdered Hattie Hoffman?

The child who was going to succeed and make a new life away from Pine Valley and marry some hotshot lawyer and come home for the holidays with a kid or two. She was not supposed to the child who was going to die. They had worried more about their son Greg, who went to Afghanistan. A life cut short.

From the Dairy Queen to other small town characters, high school, a marriage, a farm, and three main characters with events leading up to the murder. From a girl who worked at the local CVS photo counter, a dangerous affair, to high school theatrics - a girl who wanted what she wanted. A man caught in the middle, and a Sherriff, father, and mother, seeking the truth.

A contemporary young adult suspense, ideal for those who enjoy a little Macbeth and Shakespeare mixed with mystery.

Depending on the reader, each person will have their own person they may have more sympathy for than others. I enjoyed the book version, much more than the audio version. Del’s narrator was very poorly done. However, recommend the book and ideal for book clubs and further discussions. An author to follow!

A special thank you to Atria/Emily Bestler Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy for review consideration.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/08/04/Everything-You-Want-Me-to-Be

The Twilight Wife

The Twilight Wife - A.J. Banner

By:  A.J. Banner

ISBN: 9781501152115

Publisher: Touchstone 

Publication Date: 12/27/2016 

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

A.J. Banner returns following The Good Neighbor, with the powerfully evocative THE TWILIGHT WIFE —an intricate conundrum, a modern-age twisty domestic psychological mystery suspense puzzle of lies, secrets, deception and an intriguing past.

A heart-pounding adventure of one woman's desperate search for answers. Uncovering the truth about those we love. A story, the past, an obsession, a forgotten identity, and pieces of memories- just out of reach.

Kyra Winthrop is recovering from a harrowing diving accident. Her memory is still cluttered, and foggy. Her doting husband, Jacob, recounts her past to her, filling in the gaps left by an unusual form of memory loss.

When Kyra begins to remember details that don’t align with what she knows to be true, she must fight through her hazy memory, her isolation, and her own suspicions to discover what—and whom—she can trust.

What happened on the fateful dive on which a woman loses her memory and her life? She is desperate to learn the truth. Where nothing is as it seems. A constant state of perplexity and confusion. Lies, deception, and dark secrets are revealed slowly as the threads are unraveled.

Kyra is a thirty-four-year-old marine biologist currently recovering from a head injury. She taught at the Seattle University previously they say, and yet she has no memory of those times. Now she has only this secluded Mystic Island in the Pacific Northwest, where the wind blows in cold from the sea.

She has a husband, Jacob who sticks close by her side, follows her everywhere, her guardian angel. She also has a peculiar recurring dream. She fractured her skull in a diving accident near Deception Pass. The waters are supposedly gorgeous, but deadly.

The island haunts her, but she has no conscious memory of the area. Just like water, and things of the sea; they can be dangerous, but beautiful.

She has no memory of her decision to move here. Nor does she recognize the jagged scar on her right thumb, (from a dive) per her husband, Jacob. She barely even remembers her husband. Why does she forget only the four years she missed?

They say her name is Kyra Winthrop (she dropped her maiden name Munin). She has been married to Jacob for nearly three years. Who is this man? How did she end up here?

She is only a shadow of her former self. When she stops taking the meds to clear her mind, she begins a computer search. Jacob was a computer genius educated at MIT and founded his own software company. What else will she find? She had to keep things secret until she solves the mysteries of her past. She is grasping at any clue or person she can find, for answers.

Who is Aiden Finlay? She feels there is someone else. Her husband’s friend? She is disoriented. Does she have repressed memories? Could something bad have happened? Traumatic? Another diver?

What if her brain is choosing to block out not trauma, but something else altogether? Can she believe Jacob? She questions her marriage. What secrets is her husband hiding? Was there another man? What about Jacob’s past?

From fuzziness, the fog, to dreaming of a yellow house; where nothing is as it appears. From constant confusion, Kara sees herself kissing Aiden one minute and Jacob the next. Was there a third diver?

The more she learns, she becomes afraid for her life, and she had to figure a way out of this madness – a dark nagging cloud of doubt. What was Jacob holding back? A trail of cryptic clues, and a computer genius husband, who is holding all the cards.

Piece by piece, everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. Who can she trust? Why is Jacob lying to her? Who is this other man who thinks she looks like someone else? She wants her own grasp of memories, not what her husband has told her. She feels something is missing.

“I feel as though my memories stop short, before the storm, at the edge of a precipice leading down into darkness.”

In trying to make sense of her world, Kyra learns about anterograde amnesia (difficulty storing new memories) and retrograde amnesia (difficulty retrieving old ones).

She begins explores the island, in search for answers to evoke memories—seashells, the contents of her purse, photographs, and the local shops, the B&B inn, and coastal tide pools. (loved this part, which keeps your senses on high alert). In addition, she seeks out everyone she can to help her find answers.

A frighteningly cool portrait of a serious sadist, THE TWILIGHT WIFE is a gripping, claustrophobia-inducing thriller. Looks are deceiving. The most dangerous kind. Utterly compelling exploration through the darker side of the human psyche.

Banner creates a strong sense of ambiguity, darkness, confusion with a constant state of obscurity, a perplexing mystery, and an intriguing haunting puzzle.

Jacob and Kyra are both fascinating mysteries, and Banner knows how to maintain the tension from the first page to the last twisty turn. A nice addition with the secondary characters: Van and Nancy, as well as Doug (enjoyed his connection).

As a reader, you do not know who to trust, and who is dangerous. Compellingly hypnotic with a spellbinding seaside remote setting, adding to the ongoing strong sense of foreboding and mystery, combined with beautiful lyrical prose, well researched, and fascinating sea life, making this an absorbing read.

For fans of Kate Moretti, Kimberly S. Belle, Mary Kubica, Susan Crawford, and BA Paris. Looking forward to the next!

I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Cassandra Campbell, my Top 2016 Audio Narrator for a mesmerizing performance! She has an ideal voice for the role, with her soothing voice to transport you.

Ideal for book clubs or discussions. Would make a great movie!

A special thank you to Touchstone & NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

A Conversation with A. J. Banner "What significance does the title hold to the narrative?"

"The word twilight suggests falling away into darkness, the strange, dreamlike in-between time, when day isn’t quite finished and night hasn’t quite begun. Kyra hovers in that limbo, not entirely herself without her memory and plunging into a terrifying night as her life unravels.

However, she also finds beauty and hope in twilight. She remembers magical nights, when she walked the beach and discovered unusual marine species beneath the moonlight. And night always becomes day again. Darkness leads to dawn. She discovers her own inner strength and reclaims her life."

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/07/01/The-Twilight-Wife

The 4th Man

The 4th Man: An FBI Profiler / Detective D. D. Warren Story - Lisa Gardner

By: Lisa Gardner

Series: Quincy & Rainie, #6.5 

Short Story 

ISBN: 9781101986325

Publisher: Dutton 

Publication Date: 12/27/2016

Format: e-book 

My Rating:  5 Stars 

 

The "queen" of crime thrillers, Lisa Gardner returns following Find Her(2016) with a tantalizing mystery suspense short story, with an un·be·liev·a·ble killer twist:

THE 4TH MAN (Quincy & Rainie #6.5) with a preview of the upcoming highly anticipated Right Behind You, which will leave you salivating, and rushing to pre-order.

Boston Homicide Detective DD Warren has inherited a cold case and FBI Profiler, Pierce Quincy and his partner wife, Rainie Connor, have flown in from Oregon to assist with the case. (love this duo)!

A ten-year-old case of a young woman murdered at the university library, in the stairwell. Manual strangulation. No signs of struggle, no evidence of sexual assault. Non-violence. Not a single print, hair, thread, speck of dirt,or swab of DNA to be recovered.

The only detail out of place; she’d been missing her shoes. A pair of dirty white Keds, which per her family, she purchased the year before for less than twenty bucks. They were never recovered from the crime scene.

There was a guard on duty for the evening, plus one for the graveyard shift. The students used an electronic access system to enter the library. However, the students could also bring guests with them. These were to be manually logged in by the guard under the student’s ID.

Over the course of the years, they did not have these guest’s names and the original investigators had dropped the ball. From a list of over sixty possible murder suspects, with ten years to run and hide, the person could be clever or cold. Rainie and Quincy’s job was to push buttons of the prime suspects. (They remind me of The Mentalist ), one of my favorites. Observant. Intuitive. Sharp.

The beautiful honor student, Jaylin Banks had whispered conversations and phone calls, as well as canceled meetings leading up to the night of her murder. A smart girl dating a bad boy. Sweet and introverted.

Suspect #1: James Duchovny, the boyfriend at the time. Binge drinking, a bully, hoodlum, explosive temper, violence and a rap sheet. He had been 22 yrs. Of age at the time of the murder. A jealous rage?

Suspect #2: Dennis Ringham, early thirties; one of the two security guards working on the night in question- the university’s rent-a-cop. Someone who wanted a uniform but couldn’t have one.

Suspect #3: Laurel Santana, a professional security guard, working the graveyard shift. Married with a baby. The wild card. He had been the one to find the body. He came on at 11:50 pm.

There had also been a mysterious older female visitor. A secret meeting? Who was The 4th Man? Did someone come back or stay behind?

James and Jaylin were supposed to meet at the library and go out afterward. Her paper was not finished. He had told the security guard she was on the second floor and to keep an eye out for her. She said she needed an extra hour and would meet him at the bar.

Did he return to the library later? Whoever killed her had to be someone already inside the library. Someone with access to the library.

A student, a guest, or a security guard? A 4th Man. Motive? Obsession?

A classic closed-room murder, based on a true story—Lisa Gardner once again delivers an intriguing crime thriller with characters’ reader's love. The investigators prevailed, identifying the perp and finding justice in a case where the truth truly is stranger than fiction.

As always, Gardner has the perfect combo and all the essentials: Setting, a perpetrator, an alibi, a suspect, a victim, a puzzle, evidence, a motive, a detective or sleuth, a clue, a plot, and a finally, a breakthrough.

Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter always deliver the best novellas!

A killer teaser, with a bonus preview of more "real-life inspired "suspense,Right Behind You, where we continue with an unstoppable team; Quincy and Rainie as they take on a spree killer with the help of their foster daughter and an expert in fugitive tracking.

The novella is worth the read to get the preview of the real deal. Trust me, it is extraordinary. Was fortunate to have received an early reading copy (1/31/17) - Right Behind You (review forthcoming) is one of Gardner’s best yet! Jaw-dropping, spine-tingling . .

“Had a family once. Father. Mother. Sister. Lived in our very own double-wide.” . . . .

A special thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/The-4th-Man

Stalked

Stalked - Elizabeth Heiter

By: Elizabeth Heiter

The Profiler #4

ISBN: 0778319741

Publisher: MIRA

Publication Date: 12/27/2016 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Talented thriller author, Elizabeth Heiter returns with her highly anticipated Profiler series, following Hunted (The Profiler, #1), Vanished (The Profiler, #2), Avenged (The Profiler#2.5), Seized (The Profiler #3), to her latest:

STALKED (The Profiler #4) FBI profiler Evelyn Baine returns, as we delve into the innermost connections of deep secrets of the victim as well as the heroine’s past. An intriguing puzzle, as two cases connect. "The best of the series, thus far!

A teenage girl goes missing. Haley Cook. A straight-A student. It had been a month since she went missing. Haley’s boyfriend Jordan had dropped her off at school for cheerleading practice.

Her mom, Linda stays on top of the police investigation daily as well, and social media. Forcing herself out of the house to hopefully find out information about her daughter’s whereabouts.

How could a seventeen-year-old girl just disappear? What had she got herself into that would get her killed. The media loved to refer to her as “all-American.”

Fans get to catch up with FBI Profiler, Evelyn Baine, and Kyle McKenzie.

They had both worked for the FBI-she as a profiler in the behavioral Analysis Unit and Kyle up until a month ago, as an operator for the Hostage Rescue Team. He had been off work since taking a bullet on a mission. She’d known how risky the mission was and couldn’t help but think she hadn’t pushed hard enough to stop HRT from going in.

Now here they were, he pretending he was Ok, and she pretending she did not feel guilty. They had been dating for six months and she missed seeing him at work. Evelyn had always been a private person in an office full of other profilers.

Of course, Evelyn is reminded of another blond-haired girl from her past. Cassie, her friend who disappearance had sent Evelyn into profiling years ago.

There was a lack of clues yet the story had captivated the country and was well-known. No one had seen Haley since she walked into the high school a month ago. Unless she had been killed there. If so where was the body?

Evelyn had a bad feeling. Then the mom found the note. A key piece of evidence gone unnoticed. If her note was correct, the person had already killed her.

Pete the stepfather, Father, Bill, Mother, Linda, Marissa the friend, Jordan, the college boyfriend.

Who would want to hurt Haley?

She has good friends, including her best friend, Marissa. Haley has also been dating an older college guy, Jordan. By all accounts, Haley doesn't have any enemies, and certainly, no one would ever want to hurt her.

In the midst of the case, old memories resurface from Evelyn’s past.

To the world, family and friends were grieving and searched as hard as they could for Haley. However, up close, there was a strange dynamic in the household. There was a clear animosity between the Varners and Bill (biological father). Where did Haley fit? How many secrets did this family have.?

With more than a half-million people reported missing every year in the US alone. The first twenty-four hours were crucial, the first forty-eight the most likely time to make a live recovery. After a month, the chances were practically nonexistent. Especially when the victim was a beautiful teenage girl.

Meanwhile, Kyle and his partner, Jimmy are looking into an attack in local college student Tonya Klein. Human trafficking. Does this case connect with Haley’s disappearance?

While Evelyn tracks all the secrets in the life of a missing teenager and her family, navigating hidden agendas and motives that might mean the girl’s death, the reader also gets a glimpse into Evelyn’s past and the secret she didn’t keep as a child that changed her own life.

Keeping secrets can have unintended consequences. Evelyn spends two weeks chasing a girl surrounded by secrets that had nearly ended her own life. She goes back to when she was ten years old once again.

At an early age, she put into motion all the things to come in her own life. From FBI agent to Kyle. Her journey to a life of her own, not burdened by secrets and lies from the past.

Elizabeth is a pro at blending police procedures with psychological suspense and mystery with top-notch crime writing. From well-researched material, a fast moving plot, to exceptional character development. She keeps you glued to the pages from the first page to the last.

Since I have read the series from the beginning, it has been fun following bi-racial female profiler, Evelyn, and Kyle (hope we will see more of this team)! She is strong, gutsy, and edgy!

Read more about the inspiration for STALKED from real-life cases featured here: The Big Thrill.

Highly recommend reading all the books in the series. Fans of Mary Burton's Morgans of Nashville series will enjoy!

A special thank you to Mira and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/01/Stalked

Witness

Witness - Caroline Mitchell

By: Caroline Mitchell 

ISBN: 9781503941502

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 12/20/2016

Format:  Paperback

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

Talented author, Caroline Mitchell returns following Love You to Death Detective Ruby Preston #1, landing on my Top Books of 2016 with yet another edge-of-your-seat thriller, WITNESS -A wicked, deliciously evil, slow-burning, taut psychological suspense crime thriller, with a killer twist.

The book begins with a brief crime scene, 2007. There has been a murder. Rebecca’s work colleague (teachers at the same school); Jake age twenty-two has been stabbed in the home of Rebecca. She is a key witness. She tells the police, her boyfriend Solomon Kemp, was jealous.

Rebecca Shepherd is afraid for her life. Solomon’s dad is a superintendent in the police department. This family has control. How would she ever be safe? She has tried to escape this man unsuccessfully in this past. Will they convict him and put him away?

What would it be like to finally be safe, from this monster? Not having to account for her time or whereabouts. Being able to make decisions, choose her own clothes. An escape route from the mental torture Solomon inflicted, on a daily basis. He was a murderer, after all. Her fiancé. Did he have a part in her mother's death?

Flash forward to 2016. Solomon has been released from prison after ten years. His father died while he was in prison. He had given up the last ten years of his life because of her, and she had repaid him in the most despicable way.

At first, he was unable to comprehend it. His disbelief turned to hatred burning for years from his prison cell. Prison, was not kind to the son of a police superintendent, particularly one that had been privately educated. He was no stranger to bullying, beatings, and sexual abuse.

Now he is out and planning his revenge. He had ten long years to work out how he was going to repay her misdeeds.

Rebecca has started a new life. She goes by the name of Becky Walker. Her reinvention had helped her begin again. She married a veterinarian, Sean with his own practice, and she worked as his part-time receptionist.

They had a quiet rural renovated farmhouse in the country in Pontyferry, with a young daughter Lottie, and dog, Bear. Also, Sean’s sister, Rhian with MS, who watches their daughter. A small knit community where everyone looked out for one another.

Now she feels like someone is watching her. Has her past come back to haunt her?. The nightmares have returned. She did not want to be dragged into the past, she had tried and worked hard to forget.

Solomon knows her secret. He would not rest until she paid for it.

Flashing back and forth from the past to present. From diary entries starting in 2007, readers get bits and pieces of the life of Rebecca. How she met Solomon and where it all went wrong. We also learn about Solomon's abusive childhood.

Like most domestic abusers, they start out handsome and charming and slowly develop their control and manipulation of their victim and their family. How would she ever break free?

Solomon is a computer genius and has the skills to control. He will carry out his plan. He is empowered. Watching Rebecca (Becky’s) every move from afar. He would enjoy stripping away the layers, testing the limits of her morals, until she revealed herself for what she really was. He always was one step ahead.

Becky soon realizes Solomon had been released from prison early. Her worst nightmare. She is looking over her shoulder, filled with fear day and night. Anxiety. Waiting for the bomb to drop. How long would it be before he came after her?. His thirst for revenge. She knew his skills and he would be able to track her down. She would be putting her entire family in harm’s way. She knew what Solomon was capable of.

Solomon has been in her home. He is watching her. Dark thoughts. Soon he begins his plan. He forces her to witness a crime. Each one is someone she knows. She has to choose the victim. Failure to respond, her family gets hurt. Nor can she talk to the police. A sick cat-and-mouse game, with only 60 seconds to decide. Tick Tock!

OMG! As usual, Mitchell knows how to build suspense and a pro at setting up elaborate "true-to-life" crime scenes. From her own past career in the law enforcement area, dealing with true to life domestic cases. Psychological suspense crosses suburban noir. Who is controlling whom?

What really made this thriller "over-the-top-delicious"--You are thinking, "Why would any person go along with these crazy demands?" Just go to the cops. After all, he is a convicted felon. Get a restraining order. However, he is dangerous, smart, and sly. Also, you are unsure if Rebecca (Becky) is a reliable narrator, which adds to the intrigue. She is complex. What is she hiding?

You know something is coming. There is a secret, Rebecca (Becky) is hiding. This secret is why she cannot come forward. Can she outsmart him?

This dark and an evil secret will keep readers glued to the pages! Carve out the time. It demands your undivided attention and will be" more than difficult" to put down. I read in one sitting, dying to know how this would turn out, page-turning to the explosive reveal. Trust me, it is Chilling! The author continues to get better and better (if this is possible).

Twisty, Gritty, Nail-Biting Grip-Lit!

Mitchell fans and those of B.A. Paris', Behind Closed Doors and Fiona Barton's The Widow will enjoy the WITNESS and the satisfying twist.

A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Witness

20 + Must Read Books Coming January 2017

Start the New Year 2017,
with a Great Book!

 

20 Books to Add to Your Reading List and Pre-Order
Coming January!

 

 

 

 

 


SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE 

Nancy Star

Lake Union

Jan 1


After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

 

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.

 

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EVERYTHING  YOU WANT TO BE

Mindy Mejia

Atria

Jan 3 

 

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront...and she inches closer and closer to her death.

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie’s acting talents ran far beyond the stage.

 

Told from three points of view—Del, Hattie, and the new English teacher whose marriage is crumbling—Everything You Want Me to Be weaves the story of Hattie’s last school year and the events that drew her ever closer to her death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

 

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THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY

Karen White 

Tradd Street #5

Berkley

Jan 10

 

New York Times bestselling author Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by, and restless spirits refuse to fade away...

With her extended maternity leave at it’s end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for over a year are about to invade her life once more. 
 
But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell it as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission. 
 
Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to appear to her again. One is shrouded from sight, appearing whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in her backyard on Tradd Street. 
 
Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried...

 

Buy the Book  


BEYOND THE CAROUSEL 

Bette Lee Crosby 

Wyattsville #5

Bent Pine

Jan 10 

 

A FAMILY TRAGEDY, A 25 YEAR OLD MURDER, AND A DETECTIVE DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT...

Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left. 

 

In the months following the stock market crash, Franklin Wilkes is killed; gunned down in senseless act of vengeance. The police know who did it, but the man has disappeared. It’s the height of the depression and there are hoards of nameless, faceless men living in freight train yards and back alleys. The murderer is never caught, but Laura and Emory, her father, never give up hope of finding him.


Now, twenty-five years later, Laura’s daughter has fallen in love with Jack Mahoney a policeman working crowd control with the strikers at the Telephone Company. 

 

Right now Mahoney is a rookie, he has little or no power, but Emory is hopeful he is the one person who can ultimately find Franklin’s killer and deliver the justice the family has long awaited.

 

Readers of the other Wyattsville books will welcome the chance to get to know the kind-hearted Spare Change detective as a young man about to fall in love. 

 

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 THE SLEEPWALKER 
 Chris Bohjalian 

 Doubleday

Jan 10

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire—the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night. 

When Annalee Ahlberg goes missing, her children fear the worst. Annalee is a sleepwalker whose affliction manifests in ways both bizarre and devastating. Once, she merely destroyed the hydrangeas in front of her Vermont home. More terrifying was the night her older daughter, Lianna, pulled her back from the precipice of the Gale River bridge. The morning of Annalee's disappearance, a search party combs the nearby woods. Annalee's husband, Warren, flies home from a business trip. Lianna is questioned by a young, hazel-eyed detective.

 

And her little sister, Paige, takes to swimming the Gale to look for clues. When the police discover a small swatch of fabric, a nightshirt, ripped and hanging from a tree branch, it seems certain Annalee is dead, but Gavin Rikert, the hazel-eyed detective, continues to call, continues to stop by the Ahlbergs' Victorian home. As Lianna peels back the layers of mystery surrounding Annalee's disappearance, she finds herself drawn to Gavin, but she must ask herself: Why does the detective know so much about her mother? Why did Annalee leave her bed only when her father was away? And if she really died while sleepwalking, where was the body? 


Conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness, The Sleepwalker is a masterful novel from one of our most treasured storytellers.

 

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TWO DAYS GONE

Randall Silvis

Sourcebooks Landmark

Jan 10

**Blog Tour Author Spotlight Jan 15**

 

A literary page-turner about a beloved college professor accused of murdering his entire family, and one small-town cop’s dangerous search for answers

Thomas Huston, a beloved professor and bestselling author, is something of a local hero in the small Pennsylvania college town where he lives and teaches. So when Huston’s wife and children are found brutally murdered in their home, the community reacts with shock and anger. Huston has also mysteriously disappeared, and suddenly, the town celebrity is suspect number one.

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco has secrets of his own, but he can’t believe that a man he admired, a man he had considered a friend, could be capable of such a crime. Hoping to glean clues about Huston’s mind-set, DeMarco delves into the professor’s notes on his novel-in-progress. Soon, DeMarco doesn’t know who to trust—and the more he uncovers about Huston’s secret life, the more treacherous his search becomes.

 

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HER EVERY FEAR  

Peter Swanson

William Morrow

Jan 10 

 

The author of the wildly popular The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying and downright Hitchcockian psychological thriller—as tantalizing as the cinema classics Rear Window and Wait Until Dark—involving a young woman caught in a vise of voyeurism, betrayal, manipulation, and murder

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

 

But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own?curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

 

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves . . . until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment—and accidently learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself? So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met? 

 

Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real. 

And much, much closer than she thinks.

 

Told from multiple points of view, Her Every Fear is a scintillating, edgy novel rich with Peter Swanson’s chilling insight into the darkest corners of the human psyche and virtuosic skill for plotting that has propelled him to the highest ranks of suspense, in the tradition of such greats as Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, Patricia Highsmith and James M. Cain.

 

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 THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY 

Susan Rivers 

Algonquin Books

Jan 10 

 

When Major Gryffth Hockaday is called to the front lines of the Civil War, his new bride is left to care for her husband's three-hundred-acre farm and infant son. Placidia, a mere teenager herself living far from her family and completely unprepared to run a farm or raise a child, must endure the darkest days of the war on her own. By the time Major Hockaday returns two years later, Placidia is bound for jail, accused of having borne a child in his absence and murdering it. What really transpired in the two years he was away? To what extremes can war and violence push a woman who is left to fend for herself?

Told through letters, court inquests, and journal entries, this saga, inspired by a true incident, unfolds with gripping intensity, conjuring the era with uncanny immediacy. Amid the desperation of wartime, Placidia sees the social order of her Southern homeland unravel. As she comes to understand how her own history is linked to one runaway slave, her perspective on race and family are upended. A love story, a story of racial divide, and a story of the South as it fell in the war, The Second Mrs. Hockaday reveals how this generation—and the next—began to see their world anew.

This is one of those books that progresses so seamlessly that you marvel at the authenticity of it. In fact, Susan Rivers has said that the novel was inspired by her discovery of a mysterious crime in South Carolina during the Civil War, and she wrote her novel to make sense of it; once she started writing, the story poured out through these myriad voices. But because Rivers is also a meticulous researcher, every part of the story has some basis in fact. As in Hillary Jordan's Mudbound, you will feel that you're in the hands of a natural storyteller who knows how to breathe life into this period of history, the young Placidia, and all of the people around her. This is a remarkable, moving, and unforgettable debut.

 

A special thank you to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  

 

Buy the Book 

CLASS 

Lucinda Rosenfeld 

Little Brown & Co.

Jan 10

 

A satirical novel about a mother whose life spirals out of control when she's forced to rethink her bleeding heart liberal ideals.

For idealistic forty-something Karen Kipple, it isn't enough that she works full-time in the non-profit sector, aiding an organization that helps hungry children from disadvantaged homes. She's also determined to live her personal life in accordance with her ideals. This means sending her daughter, Ruby, to an integrated public school in their Brooklyn neighborhood.

 

But when a troubled student from a nearby housing project begins bullying children in Ruby's class, the distant social and economic issues Karen has always claimed to care about so passionately feel uncomfortably close to home. As the situation at school escalates, Karen can't help but wonder whether her do-gooder husband takes himself and his causes more seriously than her work and Ruby's wellbeing.

 

A daring, discussable satire about gentrification and liberal hypocrisy, and a candid take on rich and poor, white and black, CLASS is also a smartly written story that reveals how life as we live it--not as we like to imagine it--often unfolds in gray areas,

 

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THE NOWHERE MAN 

An Orphan X Novel  #2

By:  Gregg Hurwitz

St. Martin's Press

Jan 17 

 

Spoken about only in whispers, the Nowhere Man can only be reached by the truly desperate, he can —He will do anything to save them.

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man. Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.

 

But his new life is interrupted when a surprise attack comes from an unlikely angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, he finds himself heavily guarded and cut off from everything he knows. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with—or that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on earth.

 

Continuing his electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak, Gregg Hurwitz delivers a blistering, compelling new novel in the series launched with the instant international bestseller, Orphan X.

 

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THE WICKED CITY 

 Beatriz Williams

William Morrow

Jan 17

 

New York Times bestselling author Beatriz Williams recreates the New York City of A Certain Age in this deliciously spicy adventure that mixes past and present and centers on a Jazz Age love triangle involving a rugged Prohibition agent, a saucy redheaded flapper, and a debonair Princetonian from a wealthy family.


When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy.


In 1924, Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers.


Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin’s adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.


As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too. . .

 

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THIS IS NOT OVER 

 Holly Brown 

William Morrow

Jan 17

Two women are caught in an escalating game of cat-and-mouse that leads to an explosive ending in this breathtaking psychological thriller from the author of A Necessary End and Don’t Try to Find Me

 

You’ll have your deposit within seven business days, just like it says on Getaway.com. I’ve put through a refund to your credit card for the full amount, minus $200 to replace the stained sheets...


Miranda

When 30-year-old Dawn reads Miranda’s email, she sees red. People have always told Dawn she’s beautiful, and she just hopes they don’t see beneath-to how she grew up, to what she’s always tried to outrun. She revels in her getaways with her perfect (maybe too perfect) husband, the occasional long weekend in luxurious homes, temporarily inhabiting other people’s privileged lives. Miranda’s email strikes a nerve, with its lying intimation that Dawn is so dirty you need to throw out her sheets.

 

Beware of your “host”

 

I wouldn’t have left a review at all, if I didn’t feel it was my civic duty to warn others…

 

57-year-old Miranda thought she’d seen it all, but she can’t believe her eyes when she reads Dawn’s review. She’s a doctor’s wife but she needs that rental money, desperately. People might think her life is privileged, but they don’t know what’s really going on. They don’t know about her son. She won’t take this threat to her livelihood-to her very life-lying down.

 

Two very different women with this in common: Each harbors her own secret, her own reason why she can’t just let this go. Neither can yield, not before they’ve dredged up all that’s hidden, even if it has the power to shatter all they’ve built.

 

This is not over.  This is so not over.

 

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LITTLE GIRL LOST 

Carol Wyer

DI Robyn Carter #1

Bookouture

Jan 19

 

A perfect family hiding disturbing secrets. A killer who wants the truth to be told. A little girl in terrible danger.

A teacher goes missing under suspicious circumstances and a man is murdered at a local reservoir. For Detective Robyn Carter, there’s no obvious link between the cases. But as she starts to delve into them, her investigations lead her to Abigail, perfect wife and mother to beautiful little Izzy. What was Abigail’s connection to the victims? And why is she receiving threatening messages from an anonymous number? 

But as Robyn starts to inch closer to finding the killer, Izzy is abducted. Unless Robyn gets to the twisted individual in time, a little girl will die …

 

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 FATAL

John Lescroart

Atria

Jan 24

 

From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting standalone novel about the unexpected, shattering, and lethal consequences of a one-night stand on a seemingly happily married couple.

Kate loves her life. At forty-four, she’s happily married to her kind husband, Ron, blessed with two wonderful children, and has a beautiful home in San Francisco. Everything changes, however, when she and Ron attend a dinner party and meet another couple, Peter and Jill. Kate and Peter only exchange a few pleasant words but that night, in bed with her husband, Kate is suddenly overcome with a burning desire for Peter.

What begins as an innocent crush soon develops into a dangerous obsession and Kate’s fixation on Peter results in one intense, passionate encounter between the two. Confident that her life can now go back to normal, Kate never considers that Peter may not be so willing to move on.

Not long after their affair, a masked man barges into the café Kate is sitting in with her best friend, firing an assault weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. This tragedy is the first in a series of horrifying events that will show Kate just how grave the consequences of one mistake can be.

An explosive story of infidelity, danger, and moral ambiguity, John Lescroart’s latest thriller will excite and satisfy both his current and new fans.

 

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THE GIRL BEFORE 

 JP Delaney

Random House

Jan 24

 

In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman's seemingly good fortune, and another woman's mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
 
EMMA
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.
 
JANE
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home's previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

 

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THE TRAPPED GIRL

Robert Dugoni

Tracy Crosswhite #4

Thomas & Mercer

Jan 24

 

When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

 

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.

 

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 RIGHT BEHIND YOU 

Quincy & Rainie, #7

Lisa Gardner 

Dutton

Jan 31

 

Lisa Gardner's next thriller following her runaway New York Times bestseller Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.

Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
 
Is he a killer?
 
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.  
 
All she knows for sure: He’s back.
 
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

 

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RATHER BE THE DEVIL

Ian Rankin 

Little Brown & Co.

Jan 31

 

Detective Inspector John Rebus investigates a cold case that has turned red hot once again.

John Rebus, as incapable of settling into his retirement as he is of playing by the rules, investigates a cold case from the 1970s involving a gorgeous and wealthy female socialite who was found dead in a bedroom at one of Edinburgh's most luxurious hotels. No one was ever found guilty, but the scandalous circumstances of the murder have kept the town talking for over forty years. Now, Rebus has his own reasons to investigate, but his inquiries quickly make him some very dangerous and powerful enemies who will stop at nothing to ensure that the case remains unsolved and the gossip falls on deaf ears.

 

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DROWNING TIDES

South Shores #2

MIRA

Jan 31

 

Danger is never far off…  When forensic psychologist Claire Britten started working with lawyer Nick Markwood on his South Shores project, she had no idea it would endanger her life—and the life of her daughter.

But when the little girl goes missing from her South Florida home and Nick insists his longtime nemesis is to blame, Claire frantically follows the trail to the Cayman Islands, desperate to save her daughter before it's too late. 

Nick always knew the man who staged his father's "suicide" was out to get him, but kidnapping the child of someone he cares about is despicable. Finding the billionaire criminal is one thing—meeting his demands in order to save Claire's daughter is quite another. What he wants threatens their professional and personal interests beyond imagination…but what choice do they have when a child's life is on the line?

 

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MY HUSBAND'S WIFE

  Jane Corry 

Pamela Dorman

Jan 31

 

It won’t be so bad when you’re there,” says my new husband before kiss­ing me on the mouth. He tastes of Rice Krispies and that strong toothpaste of his which I still haven’t gotten used to.

“I know,” I say before he peels off to the bus stop on the other side of the road.

Two lies. Small white ones. Designed to make the other feel better.
But that’s how some lies start. Small. Well meaning. Until they get too big to handle.


When young lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe. A convicted murderer whom Lily is strangely drawn to. For whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything. 

 

But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets are powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants.

 

When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep sixteen years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way.

 

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Non-Fiction  Christian

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE

Renew Your Mind Through the Power of God's Word

 Joyce Meyer

FaithWords

Jan 3

 

The BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE will help readers connect the truths of Joyce Meyer's all-time bestselling book, Battlefield of the Mind, to the Bible, and change their lives by changing their thinking.

Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger, and feelings of condemnation.. .all these are attacks on the mind. If you struggle with negative thoughts, take heart! The BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE will help you win these all-important battles through clear, practical application of God's Word to your life. With notes, commentary, and previously unpublished insights by Joyce Meyer, this Bible is packed with features specifically designed for helping you deal with thousands of thoughts you have every day and focus your mind to think the way God thinks. 

 

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DREAM WITH ME 
: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win  

John M. Perkins 

Baker

Jan 31 

 

According to recent surveys and studies, race relations in the United States are the worst they've been since the 1990s, and many would argue that life for most minorities has not significantly improved since the civil rights era of the 1960s.

For so many, the dream of true equality has dissolved into a reality of prejudice, fear, and violence as a way of life.John M. Perkins has been there from the beginning.

 

Raised by his sharecropping grandparents, Perkins fled Mississippi in 1947 after his brother was fatally shot by a police officer. He led voter registration efforts in 1964, worked for school desegregation in 1967, and was imprisoned and tortured in 1970. Through it all, he has remained determined to seek justice and reconciliation based in Christ's redemptive work. "Justice is something that every generation has to strive for," he says.

 

And despite the setbacks of recent years, Perkins finds hope in the young people he has met all across the nation who are hard at work, bringing about reconciliation in God's name and offering acceptance to all. Dream with Me is his look back at a life devoted to seeking justice for all God's people, as well as a look forward to what he sees as a potentially historic breakthrough for people of every race.

 

Buy the Book 

 

 

#JDCMustReadBooks 

Happy New Year!

Top Book List, Coming 2017 

By Release Month

The Best of 2016.
 Top 50 JDCMustReadBooks 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/book-blog/tag/jan-2017

The Marriage Lie

The Marriage Lie - Kimberly Belle
ISBN: 0778319768
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: 12/27/2016
Format: Other
My Rating: 5 Stars

Top Books of 2016
 
Talented author, Kimberly S. Belle returns following The Ones We Trust (2015) and The Last Breath (2014), with a deliciously domestic psychological suspense thriller, THE MARRIAGE LIE.

“A page-turning” grip-lit. An exploration of the complex lies, betrayal, and dark secrets of a marriage. Do you really know your partner?

A happy husband and wife living in Atlanta, GA. Iris and Will Griffith, are approaching their seventh anniversary. They have their dream Victorian home on a quiet street in Inman Park with the porch and working on a baby to complete their family.

Will is headed out of town for a three- day business trip to Orlando, FL and gives Iris a beautiful anniversary ring, the night before. He is a Sr. Software Engineer with a consulting firm and has a conference to attend.

Iris is a school counselor at the exclusive K-12 Lake Forrest Academy in a leafy suburb of Atlanta. They are a privileged and elite tribe of troubled kids with wealthy parents of surgeons, news anchors, socialites, and professional athletes.

Soon the horrific news comes that Liberty Airlines Flight 23 has crashed, shortly after taking off from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Seattle Washington. All 179 passengers are presumed dead. However, it was not Will’s plane. He was on his way to Orlando. Safe, correct? However, he is not answering his phone.

Iris soon learns William Matthew Griffith was on that plane. How could this be? This has to be a mix-up. However, as Iris begins investigating, frantic with worry and fear over this unsettling news, she learns there was no conference for Cyber Security for Critical assets: An Intelligence Summit.

He cannot be dead. It was not possible.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. The stages of grief. How could a man headed to Orlando end up on a westward-bound plane? How could he have died? Could the conference have been moved to a different location? Was there another woman? Had he been cheating? Was he leading a secret life on the west coast?

Iris finds he booked a one-way trip. He booked two tickets in opposite directions. Why? Iris goes from heartbroken to being furious. He lied. How could he do this to her? To them? Terror overwhelms her.

With the help of her twin brother, Dave she begins digging into Will’s past. However, the question is, "does this lie override their seven years of marriage?" Does it erase their love?

Will said he grew up in Memphis and moved to Atlanta straight out of grad school at the University of Tennessee. His entire life had been on the east coast, not west. His parents were dead, and he had no siblings. He never talked of friends or family. Besides his colleagues and acquaintances his only high school friend residing in Costa Rica.

 



They had eloped when they married, with only her brother and his partner, James, and her parents, as witnesses. She knew his childhood wasn’t pleasant, but nothing something he talked about.

How well did she know her husband? Iris is determined to get answers. A pilot error. What if Will is not dead? How could he leave her here all alone unarmed and clueless to fight this battle? She wants to defend him; however, she is unsure.

She and her husband shared a home, a life, and the past. Their relationship had been built on trust and honesty. There had never been any reason for either of them to be jealous or suspicious. Until now.

Who is this Corban Hayes showing up from Will’s gym? She does not even know this guy. How could she mourn a guy she longer is certain she knows?

Could her husband be a wanted criminal, a serial killer, or a rapist, or a murderer? Nothing is as is appears. His job, his past, their life. Has it all been a lie? Money missing. Crazy messages. Something is not right. Does she want him to be dead, or face the fact he is not the person she married?

Things start getting weird, and she and her brother Dave begin to uncover more about Will’s dark past, leading us to more twists and turns, and the explosive conclusion! (great ending!)

From money, lies, deceit, blackmail, and betrayal. Innocent lives, justice, revenge. A twisty gripping ride and with each turn, you do not know whom to truth. Reliable? The author does an outstanding job of weaving the mystery and suspense with the deep dark secrets for a wild adventurous ride.

Psychological suspense and family drama with a perfect marriage on the exterior, yet beneath the façade; a marriage with dark secrets and lies with fatal repercussions. A chilling and haunting tale. Also a nice tie in with the student Eva. Those with money and those without--when money does not always provide happiness.

An ideal choice for book clubs and group discussions (as always, Belle includes an extensive guide). A thought-provoking question: To what extent does a person’s past influence or define one’s future.? There are many emotional complex decisions and moral dilemmas sprinkled throughout the novel. The what ifs; if faced with similar circumstances?

As always I enjoy re-visiting with the cool parts of Atlanta which I lived for many years, the Historic neighborhoods, landmarks, restaurants, and the wonderful Beltline. I could imagine myself back there! Belle's descriptions are so vivid.

I loved Dave, Iris’s twin brother. Kimberly adds just the amount of wit and humor with the psychological suspense and mystery, for a nice balance. I knew the first book I read by Belle, she would be an author to follow. Each book is unique, crossing several genres- love her writing style!

For fans of domestic suspense: Sandra Brown, Paula Treick DeBoard, Kate Moretti, Susan Crawford, Laura McNeill, and Paula Daly will enjoy this twisty look "behind closed doors" of a marriage.

A special thank you to the author, MIRA, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Cover love- The paperback is stunning!

JDCMustReadBooks

Three years in a row! My Top Book List for each year.

 


2014 The Last Breath
2015 The Ones We Trust
2016 The Marriage Lie

 

 

 

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/05/01/The-Marriage-Lie

Waiting For Wonder

Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline - Marlo Schalesky

Learning to Live on God's Timeline

By:  Marlo Schalesky 

ISBN: 9781501820106

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Publication Date: 11/1/2016 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 5 Stars +

2016 Best Book for Spiritual Growth

WAITING FOR WONDER Learning to Live on God’s Timeline by Marlo Schalesky is an extraordinary portrayal of patience.

Inspiring! A book of hope. Powerful and life changing. A remarkable re-telling, the author takes readers on an intimate remarkable journey with Sarah, from the Old Testament. One hundred and twenty-seven years to refine a woman. Now, this is waiting!

2016 Best Book for Spiritual Growth!

Sarah is the first woman since Eve who played a major role in salvation history. She is also the only woman of the Bible whose age was given at her death. One hundred twenty-seven years.

As the author references in this well-researched inspiring journey: “I believe the biblical writer tells us her age to emphasize the length of her waiting.”

Sarah’s life was about the "long wait." She was remade through the years of frustration, fear, fury, and faith. A life of waiting. A life of becoming. A life that would ultimately, bless the whole world.

In our fast and the furious world today, everything is about immediate gratification. The now. No waiting. Rushing. When the word, “patience” is not in our vocabulary. Instant gratification is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment, without delay or deferment.

Basically, it's when you want it; and you want it now. Humans are hardwired to want things -- now. It’s called instant gratification, and it’s a powerful force. What lesson have we learned?

Waiting is hard, and there is an innate desire to have what we want when we want it, which is usually without any delay. In today’s world, we find ourselves waiting. Waiting for results of infertility treatments, waiting for a job offer, waiting for a change in a relationship, waiting for a change in life.

However, the author takes us to back to the Bible. A reflection. She invites you for a walk with her, through Sarah’s life. A life of waiting possibly through Sarah's eyes. What was going through her mind?

There is "wonder" when you wait. The perfect timing. God’s master plan. When it is rushed, the results are not the extraordinary. Not as intended. The pieces must be aligned in His own time for the outcome to be as intended. The work may not be complete.

“Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?” Matt 6:27 and Luke 12:25

“Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matt 6:34

“Don’t be anxious about anything.” Phil 4:6

When God’s timing is rarely our own. It’s is easy to believe God when a promise is new and fresh, bubbling with life. It is hard when the years pass and nothing changes. Making it sometimes harder to keep praying and believing.

We start with the barren Sarai. The shame and the hopelessness. We are all barren and Sarai gives us hope. Sarah’s journey could be our own. When God sees our barrenness, and meets it with promise. The place where we have the least hope. Barrenness: A metaphor for hopelessness. No human power to invent a future. Lack.

God looks barrenness in the face and makes His promise. God chooses the impossible. He did not call a fertile woman to birth a nation. He chose a barren woman; on purpose.

From scriptures to the what if? A glimpse of what the modern-day Sarah would possibly be thinking about her situation long ago. In the Old Testament, in Sarai’s day, infertile women were despised, rejected, helpless, and considered curses.

Yet God calls the childless, the infertile, the barren to birth a nation through whom the whole world will be blessed. The place in her life that causes the most shame, pain, and hopelessness.

God makes his wildest, most impossible promises. It is the very place he chooses to work. With poignant examples, the author uses poignantly relatable stories. Those who have been broken, with losses beyond comprehension. Yet those are the ones dedicating their life to the ministry of others, filled with beauty and promise. Transforming our shame.

Sometimes it is out of a broken heart that God’s glory shines. Hope. God uses those marks, the scars, to full purposes. There is a bigger plan in motion. We do not always know what is going on in the background, preparing for the main event.

If we rush the end result and try to control the events ourselves, the movie of our life, will not play out as planned. God’s purposes. As seen by Sarah’s story.

God uses the complete redemption of the things in our lives that we hate the most. The things that cause the deepest sorrow, the worst guilt, the most agonizing pain. Those are the very things God longs to transform—for Sarai and for us. God chooses us precisely for the places where nothing seems to change and hope is sparse.

Submitting to the power of waiting, to the power of promises. We do not like Haran. The place in between. How do you wait, believe, and hang on to the promises when you are living in Haran? A place where we land. Not the place we were promised. Are we settling? Discouraged? Will we ever leave this place? We do not want to remain in this place.

Like Sarah, we can only wait and wonder. What must die before we can get unstuck, before we can continue toward the promise? Who is this God who sometimes doesn’t move fast enough? He is working. There is a purpose in the waiting place.

God is working with power and wonder and might. We can’t always see it and rarely understand it. But God is working behind the scenes. A deeper work. A work we could never do, ourselves.

Sarah’s legacy. Their wait was hard. Often hopeless. God made in the wait a life that mattered. Sarah changed the world. The world can be blessed through each of us. From the prophets who endured persecution, hardship, and even death as they waited. Faith.

We can’t be discouraged. He is working and creating through our pain, fears, and doubts. In the long hard wait, God is making you into who you must be to make a lasting difference. He is at work when nothing seems to be happening at all. It is then when He is working His miracles in us, around us, and in the kingdom, itself. Often he is working a miracle in someone else.

He could be using the trial for someone else--and we happen to be in the way or part of the relationship or overall plan.

We become who we really are in the wait. And who we are matter. Legacy is born in the waiting. Embrace this God of waiting, where impossible promises come true. Of perfect timing in the face of fear.

Millennia have passed since Sarah’s death. Yet she remains a beacon of faith for us all. A perfect example that God is most at work when we see him the least. He calls us to believe. Wait. Trust. Believe.

One of the best books I have read this year for Christian spiritual growth. Insightful, and thought-provoking. A book you will want to revisit often, (bookmarking so many passages)...especially those trying times when we are impatient. Beautifully and thoughtfully written - a "light of hope." A great lesson.

A special thank you to Abingdon and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. A calming stunning cover which draws you into this place of solace.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/02/Waiting-for-Wonder

The Gift

The Gift: The gripping psychological thriller everyone is talking about - Marie-Louise Jensen

By:  Louise Jensen

ISBN: 9781786810960

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: 12/16/2016
Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars ++ 

Top Books of 2016


Louise Jensen returns following her bestselling debut The Sister (2016) with an intense, edge-of-your-seat gripping thriller follow-up, centered around the fascinating topic of cellular memory. Organ donors may be doing than saving a life as portrayed in, THE GIFT!

Top 50 Books of 2016!

Cellular Memory (CMR) phenomenon, a term doctors, coined for the personality changes that people undergo after organ transplants. Jensen hooks you from page one to the final explosive ending!

Jenna desperately needed a heart transplant and was granted a heart. She and her boyfriend Sam had been ill with a virus. Sam finally got better, but she continued to be exhausted for the next few months. She had viral myocarditis which had aggressively attacked her heart function, and a transplant was her only option.

They found her a heart, a perfect match, and everyone was painfully aware the gift of life only came to fruition through another family’s grief.

Sam had wanted to marry her. She couldn’t. Everything was different now. Her life had changed drastically. The before and after. She had broken up with the man she is still in love with, (to be noble, giving him a better life and the future children which now she will never have). Her gifted heart, full of guilt. She had to lie saying she did not love him.

In addition, she also has many other problems. Jenna is seeing a therapist, Venessa every week. She is not always honest with the therapist nor her family. The fact that she almost died, makes everyone uncomfortable around her.

Jenna is having obsessive thoughts. Anxiety, paranoia, fear, and dreams. She has been taking tons of meds to ensure she will not reject her new heart. Not many people know she has located the donor’s family.

A PI located them and she has written to them. Of course, her therapist says this is unethical and not helping her condition. She encourages her to see this is as unhealthy. She cannot stop thinking about why she lived and this girl died.

Nearly six months ago, someone died so she could live. Her world seems small and she cannot catch her breath. She feels as though her world is shrinking and pulling her under, as well as her confidence. She does not feel safe. She is in a constant state of anxiety. She is preoccupied with thoughts of her donor. Also her donor’s memories.

Jenna continues to hear a woman screaming, brakes screeching. At first, she is unsure if it could be a possible side effect from her meds or if she had imagined the whole thing. She also feels guilt due to her Mum and Dad falling apart. Their marriage, their finances, and her relationship with Sam.

Her mom takes her to a Mind, Body, and Spirit psychic medium, to look at natural alternatives. Fiona tells her she is sensing two energies. A split. Two personalities battling.

Jenna feels and sees things. The recipient inherits the donor’s memories. Muddled images. Fragmented dreams. She thinks they are Callie’s memories. The girl who died so she could live. What is Callie trying to tell her?

Her heart pounds all the time. She sweats, she is fearful, full of anxiety, and soon comes to realize, she is sensing the fear of her donor. What happened to her? She feels as though she is going mad. She has to begin digging deeper without anyone knowing to try and find out what really happened to this gal, her donor, Callie. She feels as though she needs her to solve this mystery.

Between weird things happening at work, the feeling of someone following her, and her ongoing obsession of Callie, she gets a new short haircut and meets her donor’s family. Once she meets them, she knows more than ever, something is not right.

She will not rest until she has answers. She discovers Callie was dating Nathan. She arranges a chance meeting with him, interviews people Callie worked with and stays in touch with the family. She also discovers she had a sister, Sophie but appears she has disappeared.

The darkness, screaming, and pain continues. The ongoing sense of danger envelopes her every day. She cannot sleep. The thoughts will not let her rest. There is no peace.

In the meantime, she is having problems with her best friend Rachel, and a co-worker who she thinks is trying to get her job. Mistakes are made at work, and she is paranoid and starts second guessing herself and her own sanity. She is preoccupied with her thoughts at the vet clinic. Callie’s thoughts. A dental nurse.

 



For some reason, she begins craving strawberries and she does not even like strawberries. It was Callie’s favorite. Callie died in a car accident. Was it really an accident? Jenna fears this is not what happened. What about Nathan, Callie’s fiancé. They had been together for five years and he was protective. Controlling? Was he abusive? What is he hiding?

And where is Sophie, and her boyfriend, Owen? Everyone says she is in Spain with her boyfriend on holiday. Why hasn’t she been in touch with her family? What about the other guy at the pub, Neil, Chris, the guy at Callie’s work, and old phone found at work, and why did Callie leave the wedding reception that night? So many unanswered questions. What about Callie’s parents and uncle? What is going on at the veterinary clinic?

Jenna becomes, even more, obsessed making her entire kitchen a map of photos and timelines. She puts herself in the middle of danger, while all the time she is not taking care of herself. There is someone lurking leaving her messages to stop digging. Time is running out. Someone else is in danger. She has to help. For Callie's parents, Tom and Amanda. For herself.

All the while she continues to call Sam for help, plus there are other twists and complexities which involve others connected. With a race against time, will Jenna be able to solve the answers to the mystery behind Callie’s death before someone stops her? Will she and Sam find their way back to one another?

A heart-pounding gripping thriller, the author alternatives between Jenna and her fear, and Callie’s last days of desperation, trying to escape someone and some of her earlier pleasant memories. With many red herrings, the author keeps the reader spellbound, in total suspense until the explosive ending --with yet another twist, you do not see coming.

From drugs, money, blackmail, lies, secrets, to murder. Intense, vivid descriptions, and non-stop action!

What a fascinating topic! "The most common organ transplants include the cornea, kidney, and heart — with a heart transplant ranking the highest in the five-year post-transplant survival rate of 74.9 percent. The heart ultimately stores memories through combinatorial coding by nerve cells, which allows the sensory system to recognize smells, according to cellular memory theory."

I have also read of the same things occurring after a liver transplant that nine months afterward, the blood type had changed and the recipient acquired the immune system of the donor due to the stem cells of her new liver transferring over to her bone marrow.

Jensen has taken a well-researched topic and adds the psychological drama and suspense which fictionally reenacts the personalities of a donor and the recipient---totally frightening! Could you imagine having someone else’s memories haunting you, day and night?

Regardless of whether you believe in Cellular Memory Theory's validity, signing up to be an organ donor is a simple way to save someone's life! Up to 25 different organs and tissues can be donated for transplantation.

An ideal choice for book clubs or further discussions. (Guide included). THE GIFT would make a great movie! I actually liked this book better than the first, possibly due to being utterly fascinated by the heart. Book Trailer

Loved the author's Inspiring Story. Corby writer is hoping to be an inspiration to others.

A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Cover Love!

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Movie: The minute I began reading this book, my mind went to the movie starring Will Smith Seven Pounds. Rent/Buy/Watch it from Amazon. I saw this back in 2008 when it came out. Chilling! Had to tweet the author to tell her to watch it.

Further reading: True story. Claire Sylvia who received a heart and lung transplant in the 1970’s from an eighteen- year old male donor who had been in a motorcycle accident. None of this information was known to Sylvia, who upon waking up claimed she had a new and intense craving for beer, chicken nuggets, and green peppers, all food she didn’t enjoy prior to the surgery. A change in food preferences is probably the most noted in heart transplant patients. Sylvia wrote a book about her experiences after learning the identity of her donor called A Change of Heart: A Memoir.

If you enjoy the donor subject matter, mixed with a fictional twist, also highly recommend Paul Cleave’s upcoming A Killer Harvest: A Thriller coming 8/17. A blind teenager receives new eyes through corneal donation and begins to see and feel memories that he believes belong to the previous owners—a detective and a serial killer.

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/03/The-Gift

Say Goodbye For Now

Say Goodbye for Now - Catherine Ryan Hyde

By: Catherine Ryan Hyde

ISBN: 978-1503939448

Publisher: Lake Union 

Publication Date: 12/13/2016

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars  +

Top Books of 2016

 

Master storyteller, Catherine Ryan Hyde returns following Leaving Blythe River (2016) with another heartfelt powerful message with SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW.

—With highly charged topics, from untraditional families; love, loss, racial tension, animals, and the chance meetings of four unique souls drawn together by an unbreakable bond. Lives which will be enriched by one another.

Top 50 Books of 2016!

Interweaving a story of a heartbreaking, forbidden love in the South 1950s-60s Texas, with an unlikely friendship. From heartbreak to healing. The broken pieces. Finding deep compassion for the flaws that make us human. Patience, love, and redemption.

An unforgettable journey with characters you will not soon forget! They will touch you and continue to pull on your heartstrings. When love plays a part in letting go; relationships, animals, and friendships. When saying, "Goodbye For Now" may not be forever. Until we meet again.

Broken out in three parts from 1959 to 1967, a reminder of the changing laws of our country; however, it may not always change the hearts and minds of the people. From civil rights, segregation, a divide, to the overturning of bans on interracial marriage. The patience to wait, while protecting those we love. Timing.

Texas 1959 Dr. Lucy (Lucille Armstrong) is a regular doctor, not a veterinarian, yet she takes in animals and lost souls. She lives in a remote area, a southern small town.

Some may think she is eccentric and cold-hearted. She is strong and outspoken. She lives in a time when there were not very many women doctors. She likes the solitude and prefers the company of animals versus humans. She has her own painful past. She went to medical school and her life did not go as planned. Now she prefers to shut herself off from others.

Many of Lucy’s patients never leave, once they cross through her door. She has sixteen dogs, eleven horses, a pig, and an owl. Soon she will take in yet another animal, and three strangers under her wing while trying to keep the law away from her front door.

Pete Solomon, age twelve, liked dogs provided they were healthy and alive. However, when he sees a wounded large dog along the highway, he had to help. Of course, his friend Jack is more interested in fishing than a helpless stray dog. This dog is a cross between a wolf and a dog. The dog seemed to listen and his life depended on Pete.

Without Jack’s help, Pete gets the dog in a wagon and earns its trust, to a “so called” vet. They are not nice and inform they do not treat wild animals. However, someone gives him a tip. There is a Dr. Lucy which may help. After all, everything and everyone wants to live. It is called "survival."

Little does Pete, his soon to be loyal friend Prince (dog) and Dr. Lucy know --how they will become connected for years to come.

Pete also has his own pain, too much for a boy of his age to bear. An abusive father. No mother. Dr. Lucy is like no one he has ever met. He wishes he could remain with her, the animals and his new wolf-dog friend, Prince, while he heals. He never wants to leave. (he is an old soul).

He also meets another boy his age, Justin Bell (African American) and they become instant friends. Justine has a great heart and he likes this new friend and ditches his old selfish friend, Jack.

However, soon Justine and Pete learn the world of grownups are not so nice. People do not like this newfound friendship. Shortly, thereafter Pete’s dad discovers this friendship and beats him for being gone (while looking after the stray dog at Dr. Lucy’s house—he keeps a secret), and second, for walking in public with his new friend, Justine down the highway.

Hurt, and down on his luck, Pete decides to return to Dr. Lucy’s house. He cannot go on like this. He has to keep his visits a secret as well as his friendship with Justine. On his way, he discovers Justin badly beaten on the side of the road. He immediately goes to his rescue. Justine says he cannot go to the hospital or police. He has been warned.

He has no one to turn to but Dr. Lucy. She immediately takes both boys under her wing, no questions asked. A woman who thought she liked living alone, cut off from the world. She is their protector, a rescuer; even when she thought there was no feeling left in her.

When she calls the dad, Calvin to let him know of his son’s issues, she soon discovers he is also a caring soul and is drawn to his kindness for his son. Calvin’s wife died years earlier and he raises his son with love, and compassion; unlike Pete’s dad. Pete sees this bond between father and son, and wonders why his life is so different.

Yet despite the couple's strong attraction, the town and those around them (outside of Lucy, Calvin, Justine, and Pete), are unkind. From racial tension and injustice. The boys learn the adult world is quite cruel and full of hatred.

Soon there is more violence and Dr. Lucy once again is there to help. The couple soon falls in love; however, they know they cannot have a future or act upon their feelings until the laws change. After all, this is Texas in 1959.

Patience. In addition, Pete’s father and the people in the town are violently against interracial friendship and relationships. Pete is around some great new role models; however, he still has to face his own father. Why should a child’s life be so difficult? He has the weight of the world on his shoulders.

With the special love of strangers, Pete now has a family, as well as the others. Each has hope. Strong bonds are formed. Both human and animals. However, each one may have to say "goodbye for now" in hopes they will meet again. Things are not always so simple and straightforward. Great themes and parallels here.

Between a loyal dog named Prince and a woman who may find a soft place in her heart, and just maybe a shot a love and motherhood once again. Plus a boy who finds there can be love somewhere beneath all the hatred- a new family, and new friends. Four people who bond and learn many life lessons. This unlikely group may just help Dr. Lucy find her own way. A powerful, moving novel of family loss and redemption.

Inspiring! What an emotional and beautifully written story. A huge Hyde fan, each of her books bring characters together in life’s messy circumstances.

The courage of Pete and unwavering love of Dr. Lucy, a woman who has isolated herself, hiding from society finds herself changing, in positive ways. Calvin, a man of wisdom and patience, and a role model for his son Justin.

Hyde illuminates racial tensions, which still exist in our country today, while at the same time a perfect example of how small acts of faith can make big inroads to acceptance. A mix of love story and coming-of-age.

These four "gave" without expecting anything in return. Each had been disappointed by the world. Losses can be restored. "Things can turn out, long after you had accepted they never would." When you are willing to do what’s best for others. Putting our own feelings aside.

Enjoyed the tie in, with the Supreme Court ruling Loving vs. Virginia case. A timely story even in today’s world of racial injustice, evil, and violence. Plus our world of "need it now." Rushing, immediate gratification. We all need a lesson in patience and waiting. (Myself included). Just finished Waiting for Wonder: Learning to Live on God's Timeline A great example of waiting!

In SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, there is unwavering love, kindness, faith, and caring. Sometimes things or people we meet, may not be entirely random nor accidental encounters. Life knows exactly what it is doing. People are put in our lives for a reason and purpose, when our own family and friends may let us down. Strangers become an integral part of our lives and hearts while teaching us valuable lessons. .

When "Goodbye For Now" is not forever. A true journey of the heart. A must read! For fans of Bette Lee Crosby, Diane Chamberlain, Heather Gudenkauf, Fredrik Backman, Jodi Picoult, and David Johnson.

No one tells a powerful moving story like Catherine Ryan Hyde. I loved Pete! Ideal for book clubs and further reading discussions (guide included).

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A special thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/03/Say-Goodbye-for-Now

How Will I Know You

How Will I Know You?: A Novel - Jessica Treadway
ISBN: 9781455554119
Publisher:  Grand Central 
Publication Date: 12/6/2016 
Format: Hardcover 
My Rating: 4 Stars

From the author of Lacy Eye Jessica Treadway delivers her latest: HOW WILL I KNOW YOU, a haunting look at a family torn apart by dark secrets.

Joy, the budding artist. The girl everyone assumed drowned on Friday, the 13th of the previous month had in fact been murdered. The victim of a homicide: autopsy results showed she had actually, died of strangulation, after which the killer dumped her body in the woods.

What could have happened? Was someone following her, stalking, watching?

An intense mystery, we hear from four different characters with contrasting views, weaving back and forth in time.

• Susanne Enright: Joy's mother and a professor at the local art college
• Martin Willett: Black graduate student suspected of the murder- Suzanne's teaching assistant.
• Harper Grove: Joy's best friend and a potential eyewitness
• Tom: a rescue diver and son-in-law of the town's police chief

Instead of hidden under the surface, she had been right in plain sight the whole time, or what should have been plain sight. Sometimes what people were looking for was right in front of them, and they missing it because they were paying attention to something else.

Interim police chief Doug Armstrong was the arresting officer, determined to get a conviction with racial injustice. He had his own agenda.

Blackmail, drugs, secrets, guilt, betrayal, deception, fear, and lies. Love and loss.

Dark small town secrets which threaten to destroy. Was Susanne ultimately responsible for her daughter’s death, even though she may not have been the one to strangle her? What about her father Gil’s financial failures? How does each person’s action play a part in this unraveling? What goes on behind closed doors?

Compelling! Jessica Treadway delivers a rich character driven psychological suspense, with a literary twist. A slow burning intense mystery, keeping your turning the pages of this complex domestic saga, while slowly unraveling everyone’s dirty secrets. The author cleverly conceals the murderer's identity and the motive, until the novel’s explosive conclusion.

I enjoyed After-The Last with the “Souls on Board” Art Exhibit which parallels to the characters in the novel. Separate experiences of the same story. Revealing crucial details not originally noticed, as with the characters. Each contains critical pieces of information.

“We’re all souls on board this flight. Nothing is too small to matter, and even when we think we have the whole picture, there is still more to see.”

A special thank you to Grand Central and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/01/How-Will-I-know-You

Dark Fissures

Dark Fissures - Matt Coyle
Rick Cahill #3
ISBN:  9781608092277
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date:  12/6/2016
Format: Hardcover
My Rating:  4 Stars 
 
PI Rick Cahill is still struggling with his demons in Matt Coyle’s latest gritty, character- driven complex crime series-DARK FISSURES. (Cover love)!

From Yesterday’s Echo #1 and Night Tremors, #2--- Cahill learns decisions have consequences, no matter how small. How long will he be haunted and will he ever escape the past?

Rick Cahill has suffered many tragedies in his life. He had been unlucky in love. He had been shot and a couple of times and survived. He had bones broken and bent. However, he could still walk. His dog had been poisoned and shot at; fortunately, he is still his faithful friend and remains by his side (love this dog). He has a job and a home (for now). Plus after this book, he has a country song about him.

Will the past ever stay buried? Will he ever be free? He is always under the radar.

La Jolla Chief of Police Tony Moretti is still out for him. He knows why. He knew the weight of the badge. How it could find a crack in your character and chip away at it until a dark fissure ran through your soul. He had been stripped of his badge long ago. He had lost his friends, his job. He had found the truth.

“Sometimes the truth is what everyone thinks it is.”

He had worked for a large agency in LaJolla. Now he worked on his own. He always looked over his shoulder for a knock on his door from a cop holding a warrant for his arrest-Murder.

He had to keep going in order to pay his mortgage. His office now is Muldoon’s Steak House in LaJolla. He had spent seven years as its manager and now it got him a table in the bar or dining room whenever he had to meet with a client.

His new client is Brianne Colton , a beautiful country singer. She is convinced her estranged husband’s suicide was really murder. She wants the truth. The worst- Jim was a cop!

She reminded him of his own wife being murdered eleven years ago and getting away with it. He was her last hope. His problems could land him in jail for the rest of his life. Everyone had problems. Her instincts about Moretti were good.

He had already caught him in a coverup once. Now Brianne says Jim never trusted corrupt, Chief Moretti. Why would someone kill her husband and stage it as a suicide?

He had been a Navy SEAL. They do not quit. He would only quit if he was asked to do something dishonorable or his superior was behaving dishonorably and Jim could not stop him.
 


Rick knew SEAL’s were the best. The toughest. Mentally and physically. Jim had led the Crime Impact Team. (CIT) He was an independent contractor for the CIA. Five days before Jim died, on his phone bill was the number to the FBI office. Why?

Was Moretti corrupt enough to murder someone to keep things quiet? Maybe Jim Colton had found the leverage Rick needed to keep Moretti away from his front door.

The missing phone. The call to the FBI. Moretti. He takes the case. Each new piece of evidence convinces him she’s right. He breaks his number one rule and falls for Brianne, even as he begins to question her motives.

Hi-adrenaline, fast paced, a series with non-stop danger and action and a troubled PI, to love. What an adventure! You put yourself in Rick’s place and sympathize with his situation. A nice balance between character and action. They compliment one another, as Cahill’s character shines through.

“Sometimes you have to do what’s right, even when the law says it’s wrong.”

As I have mentioned from the first book, Coyle is a talented author to follow! Powerful plot planning, and rich character development. Cahill loves to live on the edge and push the limits.

For fans of Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch), David Baldacci, and J. Carson Black (Cyril Landry) will enjoy this well-written series. Highly recommend reading all the books in the series, for the full background of the highly entertaining Rick Cahill. Can't wait for the next ride.

A special thank you to Oceanview and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/07/01/Dark-Fissures